Constituents of the anti-BJP opposition alliance nationally, the Congress and the TMC gave conflicting signals to each other throughout much of Wednesday.
While Congress president Rahul Gandhi made an impromptu appearance at TMC’s “Modi hatao desh bachao” dharna in Parliament, party MP Adhir Chowdhury slammed TMC, Congress’s rival back in his home state, West Bengal, in the House for the chit fund scams.
Sonia Gandhi then told Mamata Banerjee that “we are friends”, before the TMC chief seemed to take on the Congress, asking AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal to win all seven seats in Delhi at the Jantar Mantar rally. Later in the evening, Banerjee and Rahul joined the opposition strategy meeting at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence.
Minutes after she had enthusiastically thumped her desk to egg on Chowdhury in Lok Sabha, Sonia ran into the West Bengal CM in Parliament. She had walked past before realising that Banerjee was sitting with her party MPs, and retraced her steps. The two spoke briefly, but the outcome was less courteous than their earlier encounters in Parliament.
Sonia walked away, saying: “We are accusing each other…but we are friends.”
Banerjee’s vibes with Rahul Gandhi have never been at the same level as that with Sonia, with whom she shares a rapport going back to the time when Banerjee, then in the Congress, was a young minister in Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet.