HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

TMC seeks alliances with regional secular parties

Saurav Roy, Hindustan Times  Ranchi, August 25, 2014
First Published: 18:35 IST(25/8/2014) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(26/8/2014)
Trinamool Congress is exploring possibilities of forming alliances with regional secular parties in the poll-bound Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana to take on “communal forces”, it leaders say.
The party had contested five Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, one in Maharashtra and none in Haryana. Although it won 34 out of the 42 seats in its turf, West Bengal, none of its candidates was successful in Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
This time, however, it is keen on allying with secular regional parties to turn the tables in the assembly polls. While the party plans winning the trust of Muslims in Jharkhand and Haryana, it is striving to align with Dalits, tribals and other backward communities in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Singh Khushwaha said the party is likely to form an alliance with Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh led by Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar, in Maharashtra. Prakash could not be contacted for his comments.
In Jharkhand the party would contest at least 15 out of the 81 assembly seats on its own and the remaining only if like-minded, regional parties agree to form an alliance, said its Jharkhand secretary Dilip Chatterjee.
“We are seeking an alliance with secular regional parties to combat communal powers here,” he added.
The party has started a membership drive in the state and on Saturday about 500 Congress and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik members joined it at Ichagarh.   
In Haryana, where the party is yet to open its account, it is seeking the support of the minority community, said Anirudh Rao, spokesperson of Haryana Yuva Trinamool Congress.
“We may contest at least five of the 90 assembly seats here and form an alliance with the regional secular forces,” he said.
Trinamool Congress national general secretary Mukul Roy, however, said that since the party is still weighing its chances in the assembly polls, it is too early to name a regional ally it is in touch with.

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