A DAY after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was willing to work with CPM and Congress at the national level, state Opposition parties on Saturday claimed the comments have no bearing on Bengal politics.
Speaking to The Sunday Express on Friday, the Trinamool Congress chief had signalled her intent to work with Congress and CPM despite being political adversaries in her state for the “greater interest” to oust BJP.
CPM state spokesperson and Politburo member Mohammad Salim said Left leaders have not taken Mamata’s comments at face value. “It’s not that we are at loggerheads with her party, the issue is one of politics…what Mamata is doing is actually facilitating the growth of BJP in West Bengal… by encouraging religion-based politics. People sitting in New Delhi may not agree, but this is how it is on the ground,” he claimed.
“We can’t take what she says at face value. She is working on her bargaining power with both sides in Delhi so that the corruption cases against her party never make a headway,” he said.
Salim claimed that in Bengal, there was no difference in the way BJP and Trinamool workers operated or behaved.
“Even ideologically, Mamata has not uttered a word against the RSS or any other right-wing organisation. I will challenge any journalist to try and get any Trinamool minister utter a word against the Centre… they will not be able to. This is because they have been asked not to do so. Of course, BJP is using corruption cases against her (Mamata) to its advantage. Trinamool is politically surrendering is all I can say. Giving any room to Trinamool is making way for BJP. We have no illusions,” he said.
While maintaining that any party wishing to join hands against BJP is welcome, Congress general secretary O P Mishra claimed the fight against BJP’s tyranny extends to Trinamool in Bengal by virtue of the undemocratic nature of the state government.
“We are opposing BJP for its tyrannical and undemocratic ways and its mismanagement of problems and issues…We apply the same principle of democratic functioning and good governance in each state. The Trinamool government has been responsible for unleashing political violence against the Opposition here. There is complete misgovernance here. So, we will continue to oppose Mamata,” he said.
Mishra, however, said that the difference in dealing with Trinamool in national and state politics “will not confuse Opposition workers”. “If that is the case, even Trinamool will have to explain the split in its stand,” he added.
“As far as joining hands is concerned, why should the three largest parties in Bengal join forces to fight a party that is in the fourth place… this makes no sense. It will actually increase vote share of BJP, which will become the only alternative to the government. While the three parties (Trinamool, CPM, Congress) combined has more than 85 per cent of Bengal’s vote share, BJP only has 10.5 per cent,” said Mishra.