Union Railway Minister and Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roys remark that his party is in a position to rule Bengal without any support from its ally has prompted Congress supporters to pull out of the joint campaign in poll-bound Daspur and Bankura Sadar Assembly constituencies.
The two seats,which fell vacant following the death of two Trinamool MLAs,will go to polls on June 12.
The Trinamool fielded candidates unilaterally for both seats,the Congress said.
In Bankura Sadar seat in Bankura district,the Trinamool candidate is Minati Mishra,widow of deceased MLA Kashinath Mishra,who won the 2011 Assembly poll by more than 29,000 votes,securing 53 per cent of total votes polled. In Daspur seat in West Midnapore,the Trinamool candidate is Mamata Bhuniya,widow of Ajit Bhuniya,who the defeated the CPM candidate in the 2011 Assembly election by more than 25,000 votes.
The Congress said that though the candidates fielded by the Trinamool were acceptable to them,the ruling party had not consulted its ally before announcing their candidates. We formed an alliance ahead of Assembly elections. The alliance is still in place in the by-election. But we were never given the honor an alliance partner deserves, Congress leader Abdul Mannan said.
The rift in the alliance widened after Mukul Roy openly said after the recent election to six civic bodies that Trinamool is now in a position to rule the state alone.
The Congress reacted sharply to his comment. MP Deepa Das Munshi,who is a strong critic of Mamata Banerjee,said the Railway Minister should come out of the cabinet before making such a comment.
The rift has cast a shadow over the prospects of the Trinamool candidates in Daspur and Bankura Sadar bypolls. In both these Assembly segments,the Congress has significant presence with about 16-17 per cent votes.
Though the Congress voters will not vote against the alliance candidate,we have not accepted Mukuls statement, Braja Biswas,president of Bankura District Congress Committee,said. He warned,Trinamool should remember that we have significant presence in the heart of Bankura Town,where we have five councillors.
Mannan said: We are not campaigning for the Trinamool candidates because we were not invited to take part in the campaign. Why should we take part if not invited? Will you join a party thrown by your relative if you are not invited? Mannan,however,asserted that the Congress voters would not vote in favour of the CPM.
Having been insulted and humiliated by Trinamool,Congress activists are not in favor of keeping any relation with the Trinamool. Despite this,we have not fielded our own candidate,giving full honor to the politics of alliance, Mannan said.