Mamata may get a sudden Left hook

Besides a shadow over a formal tie-up with the Congress,pressure is mounting on Mamata Banerjee with the rift widening between the Trinamool Congress and its Leftist allies...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:January 22, 2009 2:21 am

Besides a shadow over a formal tie-up with the Congress,pressure is mounting on Mamata Banerjee with the rift widening between the Trinamool Congress and its Leftist allies — the splinter groups from the Left mainstream who have so far backed Banerjee on issues like Nandigram and Singur.

With Banerjee declining to support Thursday’s bandh called by the SUCI,a partner in the Progressive Secular Democratic Front,and SUCI’s stand of severing its ties with the TMC if it goes with the Congress,the distance between the two parties is widening.

According to sources,it is not only the SUCI but also some ultra-Left factions which were a part of her front who are not very happy over the recent developments of a possibility of a grand alliance between the Congress and TMC before the Lok Sabha polls. Relationship between the Left parties and Banerjee had soured over the last few months after the TMC inched close to the Congress.

Partho Chatterjee,leader of the Opposition,said the SUCI is taking decisions prematurely. “It should wait and see what is happening. A tie-up between us and the Congress has not taken place yet. So why is it jumping to conclusions? They are our ally and if there is a tie-up with the Congress,we will sit down and discuss the matter with them,” he said.

Chatterjee,however,said the TMC has declined to support Thursday’s bandh because of party policy and not because of political differences. “Our party had long back announced that because of the economic meltdown we will not like to call or support a bandh now… unless it is a very serious issue. We are just following our party line,” Chatterjee added.

With the looming Lok Sabha polls,senior leaders of TMC said the party will go for a formal alliance with the Congress,even if it comes at the cost of losing SUCI.

“To us tackling the anti-CPM vote is a major issue in the polls and tie-up with a major national party like Congress is of utmost importance. We will have to make our partners understand or if the situation needs,let go of them,” said a senior TMC leader.

The SUCI,however,stuck to its stand. Pravash Ghosh,a SUCI leader,said: “We are a vital part of Mamata Banerjee’s front. Together we have agitated in Nandigram and Singur. But we are with her only if she maintains her policy of equidistance from both the Congress and the BJP. If she goes for a tie-up with the Congress,we can no more be with her party.”

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