Was mistake to align with Congress for 2011 polls: Mamata

Kolkata, July 16 (IANS) Stressing she had made a mistake by going with the Congress in the 2011 West Bengal Assembly polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday attacked the Congress for "colluding" with the CPI-M to defeat her Trinamool Congress in the ongoing panchayat elections.

"It was a mistake to tie up with the Congress in the assembly polls two years back. We would have got 293 of the 294 seats had we not joined hands with the Congress," Banerjee, the Trinamool supremo, said at a panchayat poll rally in Amta of South 24 Parganas district.

The Trinamool-Congress-Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) combine won 227 seats in the 2011 polls to oust the Left Front, which had been ruling the state since 1977.

However, the Trinamool broke up with the Congress in September last year and the two parties are contesting the rural body elections separately.

Banerjee, who started off her political career with the Congress, said she had left the party "out of shame" in 1998 and formed the Trinamool.

"I had left the Congress out of shame as its leaders were working as the agents of the Communist Party of India-Marxist. Had I not done so, the CPI-M would have never lost power in the state," she said.

Coming down heavily on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance central government, she decried the regular hike in prices of petroleum products.

Claiming that the Congress always used the Central Bureau of Investigation to silence those protesting against its policies, Banerjee challenged it to rope in all "central agencies against me".

"Even if nobody protests against the central government's policies, I shall single-handedly raise my voice," she asserted.

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