Trinamool-Congress tie-up in troubled waters

May 6th, 2009 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi New Delhi/Kolkata, May 6 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress will never be part of an alliance that ties up with the Left, the party said categorically as the Congress Wednesday tried to ease tensions with its partner in West Bengal by declaring that there was no “alliance anywhere with the Left”.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress was clearly miffed with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s overtures to the Left Tuesday and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s comment that the tie-up with Trinamool was not based on a pre-condition that his party could not take support from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

Banerjee said late Tuesday: “Our position is clear. If the Congress joins hands with the CPI-M or the Left after the polls, we cannot continue to be with them (Congress). There is no question of co-existence for us and the CPI-M.”

Responding to Mukherjee, she said: “At the same time, there was no pre-condition that the Congress would tie up with the CPI-M. If they do that, we also have the right to move out.”

She targeted Rahul Gandhi saying that such comments were “not responsible from such a leader”.

“This will have a negative effect on the election. It’s strange that these comments come when polling in constituencies where Congress put up candidates is over.”

West Bengal conducts the second round of its elections Thursday, with the first phase over April 30 and the third to be held May 13.

On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi had said there were ideological differences with the Left but he was confident of their support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a post-poll scenario.

Mukherjee added to it when he told the media: “I am not aware of any such pre-condition (not taking support from the Left). And I was instrumental in the (Congress-Trinamool) adjustment.”

Subsequently, Trinamool leader Dinesh Trivedi tried to play down the matter.

“I think these (Rahul’s) are the words of the media. I heard the TV report… nowhere has he used these words. This is the imagination of the media.

“We believe in democracy and the CPI-M is undemocratic. We will do disservice to the nation if we associate with the CPI-M. The Congress also understands (this), I am sure.”

Attempting to cool things down, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there was no alliance with the Left but was vague when talking about the post-election scenario.

He clarified that Rahul Gandhi’s statement was a reference to the past.

“Rahul Gandhi had said that in the past we have been with the Left, and that their thinking matches with us far more than the NDA. But there is no alliance with the Left,” Singhvi said.

“There is no cause for speculation. There is just one truth - we are in a pre-election declared alliance in West Bengal with Mamata Banerjee and there is no alliance anywhere with the Left. We will work out the rest after the (election) results,” he added.

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