TT, Calcutta, March 14: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today advocated an "atmosphere of mutual understanding" between the Centre and the state, the relatively mellow comments marking her first public appearance since the declaration of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results.
"We want everything to run smoothly. We also want the Centre and state to move in an atmosphere of mutual understanding," Mamata told a farm felicitation event.
Mamata did not make any reference - direct or oblique - to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, unlike during the initial phase of demonetisation. Of late, the chief minister has been avoiding direct references to Modi, and she had stayed away from campaigning in Uttar Pradesh.
Today, she underscored the need for mutual respect. "Some party will come to power, another party will go, but the tradition of respect must be maintained. In a democratic nation, each respecting the others is the convention.... I say this even today that this tradition is our civilisation, our culture," she said.
At a time the political establishment is looking for clues in the pace at which the CBI will move on the Saradha probe, Mamata added: "A party will be in power today, will be gone tomorrow. Just because they are in power today, use of force to bulldoze the people is not acceptable to the people. Therein lies the question of decency, of democracy."
A Trinamul Lok Sabha MP later said: "She was speaking as chief minister, not the Trinamul chief. She was quick to understand the need for a more balanced stand in dealing with the BJP-led Centre in the wake of these results, otherwise Bengal will stand to lose heavily."