Kolkata: With the Trinamool Congress attacking the UPA government led by Congress and the latter counter-reacting to its allegations, the rift between the two sides is deepening with every passing day, jeopardizing the fate of the ruling alliance at the centre.
Seven month after taking over the reins of West Bengal as Chief Minister, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee is being ridiculed by none other than the Congress, which is the biggest constituent in the UPA coalition.
She has been consistently questioning the crucial policy decisions taken by the Congress-led UPA government causing much embarrassment to it.
In the recent past, the fire-brand leader has wasted no opportunity to needle Congress and reminded it to either follow her dictates or face the consequences. Be it the Teesta water-sharing accord with Bangladesh, petrol price hike, Lokayukta clause in the Lokpal bill, FDI in retail or the renaming of Indira Bhawan, Trinamool has crossed swords with the Congress on almost everything claiming that these decisions were against the interests of common people.
At every occasion when Mamata trained her guns at the UPA, the Trinamool leadership defended her action and claimed that the decision to oppose the central policies "was done out of her party’s commitment for the masses".
The latest issue, which dealt a major blow to the Trinamool-Congress ties, is her government’s proposal to rename Indira Bhavan after a revolutionary Bengal poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
The decision did not go well with Congress and it derided the move as an attempt to woo minorities. Hurt with Mamata’s frequent confrontation with the UPA government, Congress workers staged massive dharnas and held rallies to register their protest.
The Grand Old Party has now hit back at the Trinamool for allegedly not providing the basic crop procurement price to farmers.
Pradip Bhattacharya, West Bengal Pradesh Congress President, was quoted as saying, "There is a lack of conception of the government. They don`t know how to run and how to rule and what system to be applied."
Rejecting the allegation, the Trinamool hit back saying crop prices were set by the Centre and the Congress was colluding with the Left to malign the government.
The Congress is also in no mood to spare Mamata’s party and accused Trinamool of siding with the Left on the Lokpal issue in Parliament.
"It is not the Congress but the TMC… not once but many times, holding hands with the Left Front. She is the B-team of the CPM, not the Congress, "Congress leader Deepa Dasmunshi was quoted as speaking to the reporters.
The Trinamool-Congress clash over every small and big issue has stoked fears of a possible spilt in the ruling alliance at the Centre.
The Trinamool leadership, however, blames Congress for this situation and says its central leadership is encouraging its state leaders to target Mamata for watering down on the key UPA policies.
The Trinamool, which has in past threatened to pull out of the government, has warned the Congress with severe consequences if party workers in West Bengal aren`t reined in.
Congress is also aware that the daily sparring with Mamata’s party over small and big issues will do more harm than good to the future of the ruling coalition. By clashing with Congress, Mamata Banerjee has made it clear that the interests of her own party will take precedence over any coalition dharma.
So, it would be no surprise if Congress starts looking at the possibility of bolstering its position by getting a new ally. The UPA`s strength in the Lok Sabha recently went up when RLD joined the alliance with its five MPs. Congress has faced crisis after crisis and lack of solidarity among the UPA allies made it more vulnerable to Opposition’s ruthless attack, so it is now looking for a dependable ally.
If the political observers are to be believed tussle between the two parties is likely to continue till the commencement of Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh.