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Congress-Left was an unholy alliance: Firhad Hakim

Published : May 20, 2016, 4:54 am IST
Updated : May 20, 2016, 4:54 am IST

Firhad Hakim, popularly known as Bobby Hakim, is one of the most important ministers in the outgoing Mamata Banerjee government. He is urban development and municipal affairs minister.

Trinamul Congress leader Firhad Hakim
 Trinamul Congress leader Firhad Hakim

Firhad Hakim, popularly known as Bobby Hakim, is one of the most important ministers in the outgoing Mamata Banerjee government. He is urban development and municipal affairs minister. He also occupies a very important position in the TMC and is said to be close to Mamata Banerjee. Mr Hakim retained his Kolkata Port Assembly seat, defeating Left-backed Congress candidate Rakesh Singh by over 26,000 votes. He spoke to Soumitra Nandi about the party’s triumph:

Your comments on this massive Trinamul Congress victory. Were you expecting such a big win This is a victory of truth over canards and slander. The people of Bengal have given a fresh mandate to Ms Banerjee because they are happy with the work her government has done in its first term. Yes, we were confident the TMC would cross the 200-seat figure. I am thankful to the people of West Bengal for having showered their blessings on us.

How difficult was this election considering the Opposition Left Front and Congress joined hands to defeat your party The Left-Congress tieup was an unholy alliance. Thousands of Congress workers were killed by the CPI(M) and now the two parties very conveniently ganged up only to grab power by defeating us. They did not realise Ms Banerjee is a people’s leader and people do not desert their Didi.

But CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra claimed the people would vote them to power... Surjya Babu thought his party would survive in West Bengal by joining hands with the Congress. But by now he must have realised that a person cannot walk with the support of someone else’s walking stick. The people of Bengal have driven the last nail in the CPI(M)’s coffin. The Congress and CPI(M) are two parties with completely different ideologies. The Congress still remembers the atrocities it had to face in the Left Front’s 34-year rule.

The Opposition used corruption as a stick to beat the Trinamul Congress with, but it seems their gameplan failed to yield results. Your comments... I have said this before and I am reiterating it that it was a conspiracy against us (a reference to the Narada sting, that showed TMC leaders, including Mr Hakim, accepting wads of cash) before the election. We did not do anything for which we would have to be ashamed. The victory vindicated us. The people rejected the Opposition’s canards.

Didi said that there is no corruption in Bengal. Do you agree with her Absolutely. The Opposition had spread slander against the TMC during the poll campaign. A section of the media joined them. People always support those who work for them.

According to you, what worked in your favour in this Assembly polls I have always stood by the people of my constituency in times of need. (Tara amake jokhon dake tokhoni paye). Moreover, the Port area has seen development. The Garden Reach flyover, a long-standing demand of the people in the Port area, will soon be completed. This is what people want from their elected representatives. Development and nurturing of the constituency have resulted in a fresh mandate for me.