Didi turns on the ?record? player | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Didi turns on the ?record? player

PTI | By, Kolkata
May 09, 2004 03:26 PM IST

Less than two days before she would face what is being viewed as her toughest fight ever, Mamata announced that she ?will win by a record margin."

Less than two days before she would face what is being viewed as her toughest contest ever, Mamata Banerjee announced that she “will win by a record margin ... South Kolkata will create history”.

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And she made the announcement in the company of her party’s biggest ‘catch’ in recent years —former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma, who was flown into the city today. Nagaland’s Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and finance minister K. Thera also attended the Trinamool press conference with Mamata and Sangma.

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But there is a catch to Mamata’s rather premature proclamation of victory. “If the Election Commission can ensure a free and fair poll in West Bengal then our results will startle all,” she said, beaming.

She however steadfastly refused to predict her margin of ‘victory’, which in earlier years was the focal point of pre-poll discussion when her victory was a certainty. She also avoided questions on how many seats the Trinamool would win in the state (“I’m not god ... I can’t predict numbers”). But she did say that “no one will vote for Rabin Deb because of his image and the CPM will not get votes because people are disgusted with them.”

Interestingly, Mamata’s oft-repeated charge — “the CPI(M) has already started terrorising voters” — came up repeatedly during the half-hour press conference at her Harish Chatterjee Street residence. She cited the case from Chandranath Chatterjee Street in Bhowanipore where the CPI(M) allegedly collected Rs 10,000 from eight families and warned them not to vote.

She had more complaints. “Our candidate in Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, was beaten up by CPI(M) cadres. Indrani Mukherjee in Hooghly met with a car accident which was no accident but an attempt on her life. Hema Choubey from Panskura is being manhandled regularly. Free polls are possible even in Jammu & Kashmir and the North-east but not in this state,” Mamata alleged.

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