On Day 3 of the CPI(M)'s central committee meeting here, Mamata Banerjee seemed to have captured the maximum mind space of party leaders.
Just after her speech at Lalgarh on Monday, CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury opened fire.
He said since the railway minister had links with Maoists, the Congress could not afford to have any ties with the Trinamool Congress.
"At a time when the PM treats the Maoists as India's biggest threat, the Trinamool has legitimised them. The Centre has to tell the country how it sees a cabinet minister openly patronising Maoists."
The CPI(M) stands to gain if the Congress and the TMC fight the 2011 assembly elections in West Bengal separately. Yechury said, "The Opposition unity is going to break up in no time."
Sources told HT that most of the delegates, including three of the five who spoke on behalf of the Bengal unit on Sunday, focused on Maoists and the Congress-Trinamool alliance.
The Congress on Monday asserted that it had extended "moral support" to the rally, as it was intended to restore peace. Party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said in New Delhi that he was not aware of Maoist involvement in the rally.
The rally had its echo in Parliament with Left members seeking to know the Centre's stand on the Trinamool's alleged link with the Maoists.
(With inputs from New Delhi)