Sonia campaigns jointly with Mamata Banerjee, slams Left parties

Sonia campaigns jointly with Mamata Banerjee, slams Left partiesJangipur (West Bengal), Apr 27 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who is sharing the dais with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for the first time in eight years, slammed the Left parties for their failure to support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government on the nuclear deal issue.

"To meet the growing energy requirement, we went for the nuclear deal, but the Left parties opposed us saying it was not required," Sonia Gandhi said while addressing a joint election rally in Jangipur in West Bengal's Murshidabad District on Monday.

Gandhi also welcomed Mamata Banerjee's decision to tie-up with the Congress.

"We are happy to have Mamata here with us," Gandhi added.

Gandhi had last shared the platform with Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata during the state Assembly Elections in 2001.

Sonia Gandhi also criticized the West Bengal Government for `misusing' the benefits of Central schemes.

"The state government has not utilized central funds meant for the poor and the downtrodden, but had implemented certain central programmes that suited needs of their party leaders," she added.

The Congress president also lashed out at the Marxist government for forcibly trying to ''grab'' poor farmers'' land at Singur and Nandigram.

"They (Marxists) have unleashed untold atrocities on the people in the name of acquisition of land for industry," she added.

Without naming the `Third Front' and `Fourth Front', Gandhi criticized the hordes of prime ministerial aspirants.

"These days it a fashion to aspire for prime ministership. But the Congress' aim is to serve the country and its people," she added.

The Congress president also lashed out at the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) for their purpose "to get the chair of the Prime Minister".

Gandhi appealed people to vote for the Congress-TMC combine to form a secular and stable government at the Centre.

"I am sure you will vote for the combine to ensure a stable and secular government at the Centre," she added.

Meanwhile, Mamata Bannerjee said that she was confident that the Congress-TMC alliance would be able to oust the Left from the state.

On the occasion, senior Congress leader and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced plans to set up an Aligarh Muslim University in Murshidabad District. (ANI)