Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday urged the youth to join politics to save the country from being run by "old vagabonds".
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a news conference. File pic
"I would urge the youth to join politics. If you don't come up, then some old vagabonds and bad people will run the country and there will no change, no new vision, no new planning," Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said during an interactive show.
She also promised to set up a "talent bank" if her party came to power to nurture home-grown talent and prevent brain drain.
Talking about Trinamool as a potential ally, Banerjee said: "I will never bow down my head when there is an issue of common people, but I will surely bow down to the people if anything is genuine and justified."
She also defended her decision to break her previous alliances with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
"I join any coalition with certain commitments that I made to the people who elect me. While other parties do not bother to honour the commitments they made in the manifesto, I cannot do that, I can't cheat people," she said, admitting she was "alone but her voice was for millions".
Asserting that Maoists were different from "blood thirsty" ones, Banerjee suggested adopting the Junglemahal model of development that she undertook to tackle with left-wing extremism in Bengal.
Refusing to talk about her storming out of an interview in an earlier instance, Banerjee said she welcomes any kind of dissent and criticism.
"I maintain personal relation with so many leaders but politically they hate me, jealously ... what to do. Jealousy has no medicine, I would ask people if there is any medicine for jealousy," she said.
She also rubbished suggestions that her anti-acquisition movement in Singur has hurt industrial investments in the state.
"I am proud to have fought for Singur and will continue to do that. You cannot bulldoze poor people for the sake of industry.
"We are saying from the beginning and I stick to it that let them set up a factory on the 600 acres and return the rest 400 acres which was forcefully captured," said Banerjee about the Singur movement, which forced Tata Motors to relocate their industrial unit out of the state.