PM takes on Left Front, calls for change in West Bengal

PM takes on Left Front, calls for change in West Bengal

Kolkata: Taking on the Left Front in its own backyard for its “overall failure", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday expressed concern over the law and order situation in West Bengal and called for a political change by ousting the Front and electing the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance.

Addressing a joint campaign with Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee at Dum Dum before the third phase of Assembly elections in the state, he said, “The law and order situation in the state is a matter of grave concern.

“The Centre has to deploy forces in places like (Maoist dominated) Jhargram to keep the situation under control," Singh said.

If the Congress-Trinamool Congress combine came to power after the elections, its first task would be to bring peace and all-round development, the Prime Minister said.

“You gave the Left Front 34 years to rule. Over this period, the chariot of the administration has come to a halt. The government has no concrete policy about agriculture and industry. It has no clear vision for the future. Now is the time for a change," he said.

Amid applause from the audience, the Prime Minister said Congress president Sonia Gandhi had dispatched him with a message to the people to elect the Congress-Trinamool Congress government in Bengal.

Dum Dum, regarded as a Left stronghold, would witness a fight between playwright Bartya Basu of Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) star campaigner and housing minister Goutam Deb.

The joint campaign, where Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was also present, was aimed at boosting the prospects of the alliance.

Singh addressed another election rally at Katwa in Burdwan district earlier in the day in support of the alliance.