Pranab hits back at Trinamool, says none is at someone`s mercy

Hitting back at Trinamool Congress, senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee today sought to remind the party`s chief Mamata Banerjee that in alliance politics none was at the `mercy` of another.

Updated: May 27, 2010, 21:30 PM IST

Ranaghat (WB): Hitting back at Trinamool
Congress, senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee today sought
to remind the party`s chief Mamata Banerjee that in alliance
politics none was at the `mercy` of another.

Apparently chiding Banerjee who had yesterday said
that her party was not at the mercy of anyone, the West Bengal
Congress chief said, "In a coalition government, none is at
the mercy of somebody. All partners have equal respect. That
is why we have not brought the land acquisition bill since
they (Trinamool) have reservations."

Noting that an alliance did not mean liquidation of
the Congress, Mukherjee said his party`s alliance with the DMK
dated back to 1971 and with the NCP when she was in the NDA.
"Politically where was she at that time?"

He pointed out that in the 2001 assembly elections,
Congress had allied with Trinamool on its terms denying
tickets to 16 sitting MLAs to fight the Left Front.
"She failed to win, broke the alliance and again
returned to NDA," he said.

On Banerjee`s statement that the situation has now
changed, Mukherjee said without naming her said it was indeed
so before the Lok Sabha elections in May last year, (when
Banerjee was the lone Trinamool MP).

"But we had given 28 seats to them and contested only
in 14 seats although we had six MPs. According to their
strength we have given them berths in the Union ministry."

Mukherjee said Congressmen had also worked hard and
contributed during the last Lok Sabha poll and Trinamool`s
strength had gone up from one to 19.

Congress had allied with Trinamool to defeat the CPI-M
which had withdrawn support to the UPA one government, he said
stressing that tieups were made during Lok Sabha and assembly
elections and there was no point in raising the issue in a
civic election.

Despite a Congress-Trinamool alliance for the May 30
civic elections failing to materialise, he said there was no
problem at the national level.

"The (Congress-led) coalition government at the Centre
will not collapse for even a day. It will sail through with
ease for a full five years."

Apparently referring to Trinamool`s charge against him
of being soft on CPI-M, he said, "I am one of the oldest
members in the Lok Sabha. I have good relations with everyone.
I am not a man of yesterday. As a leader of the house it is my
duty to interact with other opposition parties. It is my
constitutional responsibility."

He ridiculed Banerjee for the statement that there was
only CPI-M and Trinamool and none in between in the state.
"They may think that the people are fools, but in India it is
a multi-party democracy."

Mukherjee also urged people not to vote for those who
had won on Congress tickets in the last civic election and
then switched over to Trinamool. "It has become order of the
day, it should be changed."

PTI