Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Trinamool Congress leaders with the party chief, Mamata Banerjee, at a demonstration against the Eastern Railway bifurcation in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
Despite an effort by the Government to persuade her to take part in the voting for the poll, Ms. Banerjee and her eight MPs stayed put near Jantar Mantar, the demonstration site of the Capital less than a kilometre away from Parliament House, where voting for the election was under way.
The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, sent the Minister of State in the PMO, Vijay Goel, who while requesting Ms. Banerjee to take part in the voting process also urged that she have a meeting with the Prime Minister and present her case.
Ms. Banerjee remained steadfast stating that she was willing to vote but only after her demand was considered. The protest was to last till 5.00 p.m. and the Prime Minister, she said, could meet her after that.
The Trinamool leader said she had scaled her demand down to two divisions of Katihar and Dhanbad, which too was not being agreed to by the Vajpayee Government.
Amid intermittent rain, the Trinamool MPs and party supporters carried on with their `dharna'.
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