Congress, CPI play down alliance; Mamata cries foul
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Last Updated: Saturday, October 03, 2009, 00:06
New Delhi: Downplaying its differences with Trinamool Congress on taking Left support for the Siliguri mayoral elections, Congress Friday said it was a "local" issue and had no ramifications at the state or national level.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said his party's alliance with TC was "stable and genuine."

"Obviously this is not an ideal situation. There is no doubt a difference (between us in Siliguri). But it is ultimately a very small and local issue," he said adding that the controversy should not be expanded to the state or national level.

Apparently to mollify the TC, he blamed the media for blowing up the matter.

"I don't think, she (Mamata) is expanding it (the controversy) to national or state arena half as much as the media is expanding it. Leave it between us and TC. I can assure you that our alliance otherwise is stable and genuine," he said.

Singhvi at the same time said, "according to us our grievance is genuine because with more seats, we should have got the Mayor's position..."

Congress won 15 of the 47 seats and TC 14, and the Congress candidate for the mayor's post Gangotri Dutta got 32 votes, including 17 from the Left Front, against 15 by the TC aspirant.

CPI downplays Siliguri mayoral polls

The CPI today downplayed the incident of Left parties supporting Congress in the Siliguri mayoral elections.

"What has that got to do with the UPA (Government at the Centre)? We withdrew support (to UPA) on certain issues. There was no Trinamool at that time.

"How can it be replicated (at the national level). It is a municipal corporation election. Leave it at that. There is nothing serious about it," CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan told reporters here when asked whether the Left would support the UPA again.

He said Congress wrote to the ruling Left Front in West Bengal seeking support in the poll for Mayor's post in Siliguri. "The Left Front reviewed it and took the decision."

The Left Front has made it clear that though its elected representatives supported the Congress candidate for the Mayor's post, it would not share power with the party in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation.

To questions about differences among Left parties on certain issues and that they were not conducting joint campaigns against the UPA government, the veteran communist leader said the Left parties should all "sit together, discuss together and arrive at conclusions together".

Asked whether this was not happening now, Bardhan said "unfortunately not".

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, October 03, 2009, 00:06

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