Kolkata: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s observation that a future electoral tie-up with Trinamool Congress cannot be ruled out was greeted with a response that bordered on scepticism here in West Bengal.
While the state`s Congress unit said it would "wait and watch" over the development, its former ally in the UPA Trinamool Congress said it would like to go it alone in the coming Lok Sabha election.
Congress leader and former WBPCC president Manas Bhunia said that no direction regarding alliance had reached the party unit in West Bengal from the high command yet, but the party would keep a watch over the development.
"We have not yet received any direction in this regard from the AICC. We are only asked to strengthen the party organisation in the state. We shall rather wait and watch the development," Bhunia told.
Describing it as "nothing surprising", Bhunia said the Prime Minister had rightly expressed his mind stressing the need for a strong and secular democratic government at the Centre keeping the communal forces at bay.
Asked if the Congress would seek an alliance with the Trinamool Congress for the parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his way back from the G20 summit in St Petersburg yesterday said he did not rule out an alliance with the erstwhile ally in the future.
"In politics there are no permanent enemies and permanent friends," Singh said on board a special aircraft taking him back to Delhi.
On the other hand, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O`Brien manifestly said his party would prefer to go it alone in the next Lok Sabha polls as the people of the state are firmly behind them.
"The people of Bengal are with us. They have supported us overwhelmingly in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the 2011 Assembly polls, in the by-polls and in the recent panchayat polls," Brien said.
In the panchayat polls, the ruling party fought against Congress, BJP and CPI(M) and won 13 out of 17 districts, he pointed out.
"So, sir, thank you, but no thanks," said O`Brien when asked to respond to Singh`s statement.
He said that party supremo Mamata Banerjee has already called upon regional parties to come together after the polls to form a government which would be corruption-free and pro-people.
After the break-up with the Congress, Banerjee had called upon all non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties to come together and form a federal front.