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Second independence day, says Mamata

Raktima Bose

“A victory of democracy and of maa [mother], mati [soil] and manush [people]”

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has dedicated her party's historic victory in the West Bengal Assembly election, ending the 34-year-long Communist regime, to the people of the State and described it as the “second independence day.”

A smiling Ms. Banerjee seemed a much mellowed version of the firebrand leader she is known to be, as she interacted with hundreds of frenzied party supporters who started gathering at her Kalighat residence since early on Friday.

Appealing to everyone to maintain discipline, she warned them against stepping into a “trap” that could incite violence in the post-result period. She asked them not to hold victory rallies unless they were permitted by the party leadership.

“It is the occasion of a second independence day after 35 long years of torture, killings, exploitation, denial, misrule and lack of development. It is a victory of democracy and of maa [mother], mati [soil] and manush [people],” Ms. Banerjee said as she emerged from her residence for the first time in the day at 11.50 a.m.

Asked about the trouncing suffered by most Ministers of the Left Front government, she said it was “a defeat of their arrogance and pride.”

Hailing her party's success in most of the strife-torn regions of the State such as Jangal Mahal, Nandigram in Purbo Medinipur district and Mangalkot in Bardhaman district, Ms. Banerjee said people from all sections of the society contributed to making the Trinamool Congress' promise of ushering in a “complete victory” come true.

She continued making appearances before the crowd from time to time, as she met party leaders and gave interviews to the media in between.

During one of the frequent appearances, Ms. Banerjee said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi had called her up to congratulate her and the people of the State for the massive victory. “I also received a call from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who congratulated us on our triumph. We spoke about the excellent relations Bangladesh shared with India, especially with West Bengal, and promised to work together to carry the good relations forward,” she said.

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