Cong indicates TN formula may not work in West Bengal
After making the DMK blink in Tamil Nadu, Congress is giving signals that Mamata Banerjee`s Trinamool Congress in poll-bound West Bengal is a different cup of tea altogether.
New Delhi: After making the DMK blink in
Tamil Nadu, Congress is giving signals that Mamata Banerjee`s
Trinamool Congress in poll-bound West Bengal is a different
cup of tea altogether.
"Coalition is about compulsions.... About the ability
of both sides to accommodate each other.... You have to be
cognisant of the fact that you have to be flexible to get the
alliance to work," was the refrain of party spokesman Manish
Tewari at the AICC briefing.
Tewari`s response came to a host of questions
including whether the Congress would "follow Tamil Nadu model"
in West Bengal during seat sharing with Trinamool Congress,
which is the major party in that state.
Responding to the query about replicating the Tamil
Nadu model, the Congress spokesman recited a Ghalib`s couplet
suggesting that if wishes were horses, then beggars would
His response is significant as it has come at a time
when a section of the state leaders were advocating the need
for "friendly fights" in some constituencies taking the plea
that Trinamool was giving less winnable seats to the Congress.
Steering clear of questions about `friendly fights`,
Tewari said that it is the desire of every political party to
expand its base. "It is not proper to say anything at this
moment when the situation has not crystallised".
Reports had it that after tasting blood in Tamil
Nadu, Congress wants to contest 100 of the 294 assembly seats
in West Bengal. But the Trinamool Congress may be willing to
give only 58 if there is an electoral pact between the two
Congress is expected to begin formal seat-sharing
talks with the Trinamool led by the Railway Minister within a
week. Elections in West Bengal will take place from April 18
to May 10 in six phases.
Congress sources said state leaders had suggested that
the party should seek around 100 seats so that it does not end
up becoming an `also ran` in West Bengal.
Several District Congress Presidents have told the
AICC that if Mamata`s party refuses to give one-third seats,
then the party should explore the option of going it alone.
Party MP Deepa Dasmunsi is in the forefront of the demand to
extract a better deal from Mamata.
A section of the Congress is saying that this is the
best chance to make it big in West Bengal amid political
forecasts that the Left Front, which has ruled the state since
1977, could be on its way out.
But the Trinamool, which is determined to come to power
on its own, may be willing to concede only 58 seats to the
Congress which in recent years has lost much of its earlier
clout in the state to Mamata.