The Trinamool Congress will join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if it performs well in the 2014 general elections, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee said in Kolkata on Sunday.
"It was the Trinamool which had helped the BJP make inroads into the state. If the BJP does well nationally, the Trinamool will again hold their hand here (West Bengal)," Bhattacharjee said at a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) rally at the city's Shahid Minar Maidan.
He added that there were signs of rapprochement between the two parties.
"After listening to the recent speeches by the BJP leaders, I think doors for a tie-up between the two are open. Just as earlier the Congress and the Trinamool had come together, similarly the Trinamool and the BJP will come together."
The CPI-M politburo member said the Trinamool's decision to pay allowances to imams and muazzims of mosques has prepared the ground for the BJP's revival in West Bengal.
"For long, temple priests, imams of mosques and fathers of churches used to make both ends meet from the donations given by the devout. So what was the need to give allowances to the imams? Now the BJP is on the road," he said.
The Trinamool was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) between 1998 and 2006, except for a few months in 2001 when it had aligned with the Congress for the state assembly elections.
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee also had two stints in the NDA government at the centre holding the portfolios of Railways and Coal.
Later, the Trinamool formed an alliance with the Congress in the run up to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, and the two parties broke off only last year.