Cong ready to discuss contentious issues with TMC

As strains with the TMC persisted, Cong extended an olive branch to Mamata Banerjee expressing readiness to hold consultations.

New Delhi: As strains with the Trinamool
Congress persisted, Congress and the government on Thursday extended
an olive branch to Mamata Banerjee expressing readiness to
hold consultations on contentious issues.

The AICC also asked its leaders in West Bengal not to
use harsh words against TMC workers and also appealed to
workers from the latter to reciprocate.

Addressing the media here separately, Home Minister P
Chidambaram also said the government will consult all UPA
allies, including Trinamool Congress to ensure that crucial
bills are passed.

When told that it was Mamata Banerjee`s opposition that
saw the government backing out on FDI in multi-brand retail,
Chidambaram said the government will "fine-tune" the policy.

Maintaining that Trinamool Congress has "some
reservations" on the bill, he said, "We do consult allies. We
will consult all our allies and that includes Trinamool
Congress. We are here to get the legislations passed."

Congress in-charge for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed
described Mamata as a "valued ally" and stressed that no party
leader ever said that Congress will dump Trinamool Congress
after the Uttar Pradesh elections.

The Congress high command also wanted the Trinamool
Congress to see reason that the tension between the local
leaders of the two parties will only benefit CPI-M led Left
front, which has been ousted from power in the state after
three decades, sources in the party said.

Congress leadership is "hurt" by the repeated attack
from Mamata, a senior party leader speaking on the condition
of anonymity said. "We are not saying it but it does not mean
we are not feeling hurt," he said.

The party has called West Bengal PCC chief Pradip
Bhattacharya here for consultation on the issue on Jan 16 in
the wake of strained ties with Banerjee`s party.


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