Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thurdsay warned his cabinet colleague Mamata Banerjee against following in the footsteps of CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat by destabilising the central government.
“Please don’t commit the mistake Karat made (two years ago). We (Congress) ran a government with 147 MPs and we’ll continue running a government with 207 MPs (now),” Mukherjee said without naming the railway minister.
The context of Mukherjee’s statement was West Bengal’s May 30 municipal polls, for which the Banerjee-led Trinmool Congress and the Congress could not forge an alliance.
“We don’t owe our position in the UPA to anybody’s munificence. We have the necessary public support. If the Congress has failed to strike a deal in this election, it is their problem,” Banerjee responded.
Mukherjee was speaking at an election rally in Ranaghat, 100 km north of Kolkata.
The CPM, which supported the Congress-led UPA government from 2004 to 2008, jettisoned the alliance because it was opposed to the nuclear deal with the United States.
At the time of the Union Budget in February, there were reports of friction between Mukherjee and Banerjee on the issue of grants to the Railways.