Undaunted by Trinamool Congress campaign that the May 30 civic poll in West Bengal would be the 'semi-final' for the 2011 Assembly elections in the state, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today asserted there was no alternative to the Left Front.
Admitting that about 15 lakh people had deserted the Left in the state in the last Lok Sabha election as they did not approve the withdrawal of support to the UPA government, he asked, "After that, what has been the experience of the people?"
In 2000, after winning the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election, he said the Trinamool Congress had made a similar claim, but in the next assembly elections they were defeated by the Left Front, he said.
Bhattacharjee said, "Those who had left us are returning after we analysed the reasons why they deserted us and took corrective steps."
In an obvious reference Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, he asked, "What is the people's experience with the Railways? She is making a tamasha (fun) of the Railways. People have also seen her party with BJP."
He claimed that Trinamool Congress was resorting to violence. "The people can visualise what will happen if they come to power."
Slamming Banerjee for raising apprehension of communal riots in the run-up to the civic poll, he said that he did not think that the minority community was drifting away from the CPI(M).
Denying that his party was soft towards Congress, Bhattacharjee, a politburo member of CPI(M), said the fight against the Congress was due to its policies.
Bhattacharjee said during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he had suggested introduction of universal public distribution system with certain essential commodities including rice, wheat, sugar, pulses and edible oil.
"I had also requested him to lower the prices of petrol, diesel and fertiliser as increase in their cost resulted in price rise. But it was not done," he said.