New Delhi: Even as Congress chief Sonia Gandhi remained silent on the issue of alliances in the coming polls in party plenary on Sunday, two prominent Congress leaders from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu said the tie-up with Trinamool Congress and DMK should not be at the expense of the party.
Taking a cue from Gandhi`s statement that the voice of grassroot workers should be heard by the leaders, West Bengal MP Deepa Dasmunshi charged Trinamool Congress with talking against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and government policies and "hitting the roads on issues like price rise", even though they are part of the UPA.
"When she (Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee) inaugurates a project in West Bengal, there is no photograph of the Prime Minister or Sonia Gandhi. Only at times, Pranabda (Mukherjee) is invited. No courtesy is shown to them," she said.
"Even after the allies commit mistakes, we still carry them on our shoulders...We give them those seats which are safe and where Congress is strong," she said, adding "we do not want an alliance at the expense of the Congress party".
Demanding that Congress should retain those seats, including where it has sitting MLAs, Dasmunshi said, "though we need a strong alliance to fight the Left Front in West Bengal, we should not have a tie-up in which there is no faith or confidence."
In a similar vein, Manicka Tagore, MP from Tamil Nadu, referred to upcoming elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and other states and said "the self-respect of Congress and its activists is more important" in order to achieve the dream of `Kamraj rule` in Tamil Nadu.
In the draft political resolution, the party said the necessity of coalition politics at the central level "does not prevent our state level workers from hoping and dreaming of a larger political space wherever they may be, and we, as a party, must be cognisant and supportive of their aspirations."
In her speech, Dasmunshi also made an emotional appeal for the health of her husband and former Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, who, she said, had not made much progress since he was afflicted by illness two years ago.