Taking forward the war with her ally, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has asked youth and student wings of the Trinamool Congress to hit the streets to counter the Congress.
The ties between the allies —both at the Centre and the state—reached a low in the past two days with the Congress hitting Kolkata streets in protest against Banerjee’s proposed move to rename Indira Bhawan and the government’s paddy procurement policy. Even Congress ministers, including Manas Bhuinya, had joined the protests.
On Thursday, Trinamool Youth Congress and Trinamool Chattra Parishad leaders confirmed that they have got the go-ahead to take the Congress head on. The party also declared it would go alone in the upcoming panchayat polls.
Concerned over the situation, the Congress high command rushed party’s Bengal in-charge Shakeel Ahmed to Kolkata to “calm down” the agitated state leaders. Though they have been told to observe restraint in commenting on the Trinamool leadership or the alliance, there is also a clear directive that issues concerning the common people should be raised vociferously.
It is clear that the Congress does not want to burn its bridges with the Trinamool Congress notwithstanding the outcome of result in assembly elections.
On its part, the Trinamool is angered over reports suggesting that the Congress is going to dump it after the polls.
Sources said Ahmed is going to allay all such fears but with a terse message that no attempt should be made to hurt their sentiments.
“Both sides should resolve the issues amicably. It is only the CPM that is going to benefit from the squabble. Trinamool leaders should refrain from making public comments. We are hurt with initiatives like renaming Indira Bhawan,” Ahmed told HT on Thursday.
In Delhi, Congress sought to mollify Banerjee by describing party MP Deepa Dasmunsi’s remarks that Trinamool is B-team of CPM as “individual views”.
“Nothing has gone wrong... Even if there are differences, we will sort them out,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.