Mamata warns voters against being lured by BJP's bribes
Habibpur, West Bengal: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Sunday cautioned the people in West Bengal that efforts could be made to bribe them for votes and advised them to have biryani and snacks with the money offered, but "don't give your vote".
"They will try to give bribe, offer money and will ask you to vote for them," Banerjee chuckled while addressing her first public meeting here in Malda district for the upcoming assembly elections.
"Take the money and have snacks and biryani with it. But don't give them a single vote. Vote only for Trinamool and alliance candidates," she added.
Banerjee, the union railway minister, also termed the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders touring the state as fair-weather friends. She appealed to the people ‘not to waste a single vote' on the BJP.
"They are all fair-weather friends. You won't find them during the crisis of Nandigram, Singur, Netai, Nanoor. You will only find them during the election season. Don't waste your vote by voting for BJP. They are immaterial in Bengal politics," she said.
"The state BJP has teamed up with the CPI-M [Communist Party of India-Marxist] to grab a few votes," she alleged.
"Every time they do the same thing. This time also they are trying to do that," she added.
Banerjee also described the independent candidates fielded by dissident Congress leaders as "agents" of the state's ruling CPI-M who want to benefit the Marxists by cutting into the opposition vote bank.
Several Congress leaders, especially in Malda and Murshidabad, who were not happy with the alliance between the Congress and Trinamool, have decided to field independent candidates.
Trinamool has fielded 227 candidates while its alliance partner Congress has 65 for the six-phase polls in the state beginning April 18.