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Sonia Gandhi told Mamata Banerjee she will get back on Goa tie-up offer, no word after that: TMC leader

TMC national vice-president Pavan Varma said that his party will now contest the February 14 polls to the 40-member Goa Assembly with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) as its sole ally.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
January 22, 2022 8:52:04 pm
Congress president Sonia Gandhi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee | File

The Trinamool Congress claimed on Friday that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had “communicated” to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the last week of December that she will take a call on the proposal for a pre-poll tie-up in Goa after consulting the party’s senior leadership.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was abroad when the chiefs of the two parties established contact, Trinamool Congress national vice-president Pavan Varma said, adding that his party will now contest the February 14 polls to the 40-member Goa Assembly with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) as its sole ally.

“I met [senior Congress leader] P Chidambaram at his residence on December 24. I had gone to him with the proposal to join hands to effectively take on the BJP. It was an audacious proposal considering the misgivings from the past,” Varma told The Indian Express over phone from Goa.

Varma, who joined the Trinamool Congress in November, said Chidambaram sought time to respond to the proposal, saying he will have to take it to the Congress leadership.

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“On January 25, when I spoke to Mr Chidambaram, he said he had spoken to Rahul Gandhi on the issue. Rahul had suggested that the principals (party chiefs) speak. Accordingly that happened and Sonia Gandhi communicated that she will take a call after consulting the senior leadership of the Congress. I spoke to Mr Chidamabaram again after a few days and told him that time is of the essence. But there was no response,” Varma said.

On January 10, Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal had rejected reports as “baseless and untrue” that talks on a possible alliance with the TMC in Goa had figured in a meeting involving Congress MP Rahul Gandhi after his return from abroad.

Varma said the Trinamool Congress will not make any fresh attempt to reach out to the Congress now. Instead, it has stepped up heat on the Congress, saying the latter will be singularly responsible if the BJP returned to power in Goa.

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