Don`t need advice from Mamata: Ramesh

In a sharp rebuttal of Mamata Banerjee`s stern message to the Congress to decide whether it wanted to continue the alliance with her party, Jairam Ramesh said his party had no need for advice from other political outfits.

Last Updated: Nov 20, 2011, 18:12 PM IST

Kolkata: In a sharp rebuttal of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee`s stern message to the Congress to decide whether it wanted to continue the alliance with her party, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said his party had no need for advice from other political outfits.

Addressing a Panchayati Raj sammelan convened by the Congress, the Union Rural Development Minister stressed the need for coordination between the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, of which the Trinamool Congress is a part, and the Trinamool-led government in West Bengal.

"We will work as a political party. We have our government at the centre and also an alliance government in West Bengal. If there is coordination between the state government and the Central government it will be good for both the centre and the state. Congress doesn`t need any advice from others. We know our duties and responsibilities both as ruling party and as opposition party," said Ramesh.

Ramesh reiterated his Saturday night comment that the Congress has not taken "VRS in the state".

On Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee had served a fresh ultimatum to the Congress asking it to "Decide whether you want to stay with us or not" after the youth Congress brought out a protest rally in the city against alleged attacks on party workers by Trinamool activists.

Banerjee had said her party was not dependent on the Congress to run the state government.

While the Congress-led UPA government in New Delhi needs the support of the Trinamool to retain its majority, the Trinamool has a huge majority of its own in the state Assembly.

Ramesh, however, promised all support to the state in rural development programmes.

"As rural development minister, I am ready to give all support to West Bengal in the area of rural development. We will help to build a new rural environment in rural Bengal by helping you in making schools, buildings and other necessary infrastructures for development," said Ramesh.

Earlier this month, on the issue of repeated petrol price hikes, Banerjee had threatened that her party - the second largest partner in the UPA - would not stay with the central government and demanded a roll-back.

The relations between the Congress and the Trinamool has deteriorated of late following each partner roping in dissidents from the other, and the death of a Congress woman worker in police firing.

The Youth Congress procession has particularly irked Banerjee because it traversed a portion of the South Kolkata parliamentary constituency which is slated to hold bypolls on November 30 after the chief minister vacated the seat.

IANS