Mamata Banerjee today said she was confident BJP would not come to power in the Lok Sabha polls in which her party Trinamool Congress would emerge as the third largest party in the country.
Though Trinamool Congress would play a key role in government formation on account of her party becoming the third largest, Banerjee, Trinamool Congress chief, will not rather divulge her party's post-poll strategy. "Trinamool Congress will be the third largest party in the country and will play a key role in forming government," Banerjee asserted while releasing the list of her party's candidates for the Lok Sabha poll in West Bengal and some other states.
Trinamool Congress is not part of the third front floated recently by 11 parties incluing the Left.
On her prime ministerial prospect, Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister, said, "I am not an astrologer. I am not in any competition. There are so many people aspiring. The people will decide. She stressed the importance of this Lok Sabha poll, saying there would be certain change of government at the Centre but ruled out BJP's ascent to power. She alleged that the ruling Congress and the BJP were working together, as evident in their mutual cooperation on the Telangana issue.
Hitting out at the UPA government for "corruption" and finanically depriving West Bengal, she said, "We want a stable government. We want a industry-friendly and farmer's friendly government. We want economic stability and electoral reforms".
Criticising the Centre's decision to raise expenditure limits for Lok Sabha elections to a maximum of Rs 70 lakh, Banerjee reiterated her demand for state funding of elections. "There is so much talk about black money and corruption, then why this move to increase the expenditure? I don't know if it's an attempt to legitimise black money, it's unfortunate," she said. "Ours is poor party. We do not have enough funds like Congress, BJP and CPI-M," she said.
She pointed out that there were some who were engaged in corrupt deeds and using black money in elections and said that was the reason why she was fighting for state funding of elections. "If countries like US, Britain, Austria, Japan can have state funding for elections why can't we," she wondered.
On alleged Congress-BJP collaboration on Telengana, she said, "We don't support divide and rule policy. We are for a united India. If somebody feels there is need to add a district of a state, the state government must be consulted." "People cannot take unilateral decision. One has been given the power to govern and not break and destroy the country," she said.
She said that after the Ramlila Maidan rally in Delhi on March 12 jointly with anti-graft activist Anna Hazare, she would go for campaigning in Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bihar and Jharkhand. "We will decide where we will go. The Election Commission has given enough time. I am thankful for that," referring to the nine-phase election spread over five weeks.
About campaigning in Gujarat, she said, "We have so many Gujarati brothers and sisters in our state. If the Gujarat chief minister can come to my place, I can also go there." She also announced she was incorporating several suggestions by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare while formulating the TMC's election manifesto which would be released shortly. "I have had talks with Annaji. We are in agreement with him on most issues. He has his views on two or three points. Most of his points have been accepted, but in some cases our party also has its stand," she said.
She said she would discuss with him on the issues and come to an agreement. She would also show him the manifesto before finalising it. The Gandhian activist recently announced his support for Mamata Banerjee, saying he found her quite unlike any other politician.