‘Mamata's influence in rural Bengal eroding’
New Delhi: Buoyed by the victory of Congress over a Trinamool minister in assembly by-polls in West Bengal, Union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Friday said by-election results are an indication that influence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is eroding fast in her bastion-- rural Bengal.
He also forecast an increased proximity between Banerjee and BJP in the state's politics in the coming days.
"The influence of Mamata Banerjee has been eroding in a rapid way. She is losing her ground. So, it (by-poll results) clearly gives a signal that only Mamata Banerjee cannot do wonder any longer," Chowdhury said.
In by-poll results in West Bengal announced yesterday, Congress took a sweet revenge when Rabiul Alam Choudhury defeated its deserter and former MLA Humayan Kabir, now a Trinamool minister, from Rejinagar seat in Murshidabad district. Kabir came third behind a Left Front candidate.
Ruling Trinamool could secure only one seat (English Bazar in Malda district) and it fared badly in the by-elections to the other two seats coming third in constituencies which it was expected to win.
"If you study the result, it has been proved that the rural population supposed to be the mainstay of Trinamool regime in West Bengal have also started deserting the ruling dispensation," Chowdhury, the minister of state for Railways, said.
Asked whether Congress would forge an alliance with Trinamool in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he said the party is not a "spent force" in the state and its "magnanimity" towards alliance should not be considered as its weakness.
"It is up to them (Trinammol)... Whether they will come with us or they will go to the camp of BJP. Options are open with them. They are still are not negating relations with BJP," he said citing that Banerjee has not opposed to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's projection as PM candidate by the Sangh Parivar.
"Distance between Congress and Trinamool is increasing and gap between Trinamool and BJP is decreasing. I am not ruling out the possibility of Trinmool going with the BJP," he added.