A day after a bitterly-fought ESIC board election and exchange of barbs between the Congress and Trinamool Congress, bonhomie returned to the Opposition camp on Thursday morning, when all Opposition parties, barring the DMK ,converged in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue to protest against the political developments in Karnataka and Goa.
The Trinamool Congress, CPM and Congress had on Wednesday battled it out for a seat in the governing council of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation. Trinamool won the election with 90 votes — some of them from BJP MPs. Both the Congress and the Trinamool had accused each other of ganging up with the BJP.
On Thursday, Trinamool Congress members were present at the protest attended by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The TMC had remained silent in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when the Congress had raised the issue of the political developments in Karnataka.
The Congress leadership is believed to have conveyed to the TMC that the ESIC election was a “misunderstanding” that should not have happened. Sources said that the Congress leadership felt the bitter rivalry was completely unnecessary and the tradition should have been honoured with a consensus candidate. “The Congress leadership had apparently remained unaware that the party had fielded a candidate and stuck to their guns even though Trinamool had started a move to leave the seat for Left. They have said that they should be kept informed in future,” said a source in the Congress.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday evening called her beleaguered Karnataka counterpart H D Kumaraswamy. She told her party MPs to be part of the protests, in a move that was behind the joint demonstration on Thursday.