Alliance: Mamata keeps suspense alive

Despite the state Congress Committee’s gesture favouring an alliance with Trinamool Congress before the Lok Sabha polls...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 16, 2009 2:21:41 am

Despite the state Congress Committee’s gesture favouring an alliance with Trinamool Congress before the Lok Sabha polls,party chief Mamata Banerjee is keeping mum on the issue.

“We have extended our hand and now it is her turn to reciprocate,” said state Congress leader Manas Bhuniya. But on Sunday too,Banerjee kept her cards close to her chest,giving a clear indication that a lot of distance has to be covered before a formal alliance takes place.

“No comment is my only comment,” she said at a media conference at her home in Kalighat.

The much-hyped alliance recently got a shot in the arm after the Congress withdrew its candidate for Bishnupur (West) by-polls in favour of Trinamool. On Saturday,state Congress leaders spoke in favour of an alliance but added a rider: Mamata,they said,will have to stay loyal to Congress even in post-poll situation.

“The ball is in her court now,” Bhuniya said.

“We have opened our doors as we want an alliance to stop the split of anti-CPM votes. We have withdrawn our candidate in favour of her party and yesterday we made it clear that we are for an alliance or adjustment with her in the state.”

Instead,on Sunday,Banerjee chose to keep her guns trained on the CPM,accusing it of trying to manipulate evidence in a number of important

criminal cases.

“The party has stood by its cadres,Suhrid Dutta and Debu Malik,convicted for the murder of Tapasi Malik. Moreover the murder of a very important witness in the Rizwanur Rehman case shows that a conspiracy is being hatched in the state before the Lok Sabha polls,” she said.

She also alleged that the CPM is amassing arms and ammunition in various areas before the polls,which are being used to terrorise people.

She announced a number of statewide programmes against the “state-sponsored terrorism”.

On Monday,Banerjee will be holding a mass agitation in Esplanade. On February 17,the TMC will organise a rally from Park Circus to Moulali. “A delegation will also meet the Governor on February 18 to highlight what is happening in the state.” On February 20,the party plans a massive rally in Singur,Banerjee said.

Fight to rally in Esplanade

CITU state secretary Kali Ghosh said on Sunday that they will request Banerjee to shift her agitation venue from Esplanade as a CITU rally is to be held in the Metro Channel there.

Mamata’s response? “Who are they to tell me where to organise agitations? We are doing it legally and democratically. They cannot stop our voice.”

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