Trinamool tie-up not hemmed in by any pre-condition: PranabApril 22nd, 2009 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, April 22 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday clarified that the Congress’ poll tie-up with the Trinamool Congress did not preclude his party joining hands with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) after the elections.
“I don’t know of any such pre-condition. I have formed the alliance,” Mukherjee told reporters here, days after Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee claimed her party entered into the poll adjustment with the Congress after it gave a commitment not to tie up with CPI-M after the polls.
Asked if the Congress would seek the Left Front’s support to reach the majority mark, Mukherjee said: “I am not ruling out any possibility. But from my experience in the campaign, so far it seems we may not need it”.
Mukherjee, however, continued his attack on the Third Front, saying it has even failed to name its prime ministerial candidate.
“This is not how major political parties operate. The Congress has always named its leader, except once in 1991, when Rajiv Gandhi died while the poll process was on.”
He said the Congress did not dissociate from the Left. “They withdrew support to us and voted along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against the confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.”
Mukherjee exuded confidence that his party will increase its strength in West Bengal following the tie-up with Trinamool Congress.
He also said formation of a separate Gorkhaland state demanded by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) out of parts of northern West Bengal, including Darjeeling, did not seem possible right now.
“At the moment we do not think it is possible to form new states. The Congress Working Committee discussed the statehood demands for Vidarbha and Telengana. We found it creates a series of problems, however valid the demand for statehood be.”
Mukherjee said the Darjeeling problem could be addressed by giving a greater amount of autonomy to the hills.
“The solution can come through dialogue, not at the point of threat,” he said.
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