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Early Polls? Mamata Says She Didn’t Say That

New Delhi : Shortly after the Congress rebutted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s reported comment that India may see early Lok Sabha elections, the Trinamool Congress denied the statement.

Banerjee was reported to have told her party workers Friday to prepare for early polls. The comment did not go down well with the Congress, which leads the ruling United progressive Alliance (UPA).

"I have got information that a meeting was held in Delhi. I won’t say which party convened that meeting. They want to hold the Lok Sabha polls by 2013," Banerjee was widely quoted as saying in Kolkata.

"Any day, we can face the election. So, we must be ready to face it. And we must not do anything that the people misunderstand me," the Trinamool chief said.

The Congress ruled out any early polls.

"I have not gone through the statement by Banerjee, but one thing is clear: the UPA-II (United Progressive Alliance) will complete its term and elections will be held on schedule," said Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi.

"There is no question of any mid-term polls," he added.

Later in the day, the Trinamool took a u-turn.

The party’s Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien on Twitter quoted Banerjee as saying: "Let me clear the half truths being reported… I would be happy to see UPA-II last its full term."

Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party said it would be happy with early elections, Communist Party of India-Marxist’s Sitaram Yechury accused the Trinamool of "threatening" the government.

"We need to think how small parties are blackmailing government," Yechury said.

The term of the present Lok Sabha ends in 2014.


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