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If Mamata joins BJP, loss will only be hers: Congress

Last Updated: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 19:56

New Delhi: Making it clear that it will go it alone in West Bengal, Congress on Friday cautioned its estranged ally Mamata Banerjee that the "loss will only be hers", as in the past, if she joins hands with the BJP.

Responding to questions whether Banerjee was inching closer to the BJP, AICC in-charge for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed tersely said, "If she will join hands with the BJP again, the loss will only be hers."

He recalled that Banerjee had got only one seat in 2004 Lok Sabha elections which she contested in alliance with the BJP, but "when she allied with Congress in 2009, her seat tally shot up to 19 from one."

Asked whether he feels that Trinamool`s tally could again come down to one again in 2014 general elections if it joins hands with the BJP, Ahmed said emphatically "most likely".

The Congress also accused the Mamata Banerjee government of "wilful inaction" to prevent attacks by Trinamool Congress workers against Congress leaders and its offices in West Bengal.

The remarks came a day after the West Bengal party hinted at an `invisible` Congress hand behind the heckling of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and manhandling of Finance Minister Amit Mitra in Delhi on April 9.

There is a view in the Congress that it will gain if politics in West Bengal turns from bio-polar to tri-polar.

"As far as Congress is concerned, it will go alone in West Bengal starting from Panchayat to next Parliament polls. People are not yet ready to forgive the Left for their three decade misrule.

"People are also disillusioned with Mamata government in a very short span of time," Ahmed told reporters when asked whether Congress would like to ally with Left if Trinamool goes with the BJP.

Ahmed had earlier indicated that there was a "design" in Banerjee coming to Delhi on a day Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addressed a meeting in Kolkata praising her and seeking to reach out to Trinamool Congress ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

A senior party leader speaking on condition of anonymity ruled out the possibility of "aligning again" with Banerjee and said that the Congress "heaved a sigh of relief" when she left UPA last year.

Ahmed had yesterday said, "It is true that it (aligning with Mamata) did not suit Congress and it did not come to our expectations of our party. That is why we parted ways."

Senior Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee had yesterday said that it should be looked into if an invisible hand of Congress worked behind CPI(M) and SFI hooliganism against the Chief Minister and others outside Planning Commission on Tuesday.

The Congress leader, however, summarily dismissed his remarks and rued that "taking a cue from the statement, TMC leaders have started renewed attacks against Congress leaders and its offices."

"We have received very serious complaints. It should stop immediately and it is the responsibility of the state government to check such things. Violence should be stopped immediately not only against Congress workers but even others.

"...No, I do not think that this government is doing enough to curb violence...Wilful inaction on the part of the state government is very clearly visible," he said.

Ahmed said that the allegation of any invisible hand of Congress behind the hooliganism against Banerjee is "untrue" and pointed out that the cops at the Planning Commission had asked her to go via the VIP gate and not pass through the same gate where the SFI was demonstrating.

"Absurd allegations are trademark of Mamata Banerjee`s politics," said another leader, who did not wish to be named.


First Published: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 19:55
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