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Being painted as UPA villain, Mamata unfazed

kolkata Updated: Jun 16, 2012 11:58 IST

With AICC president Sonia Gandhi nominating Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee as UPA's presidential candidate, chief minister Mamata Banerjee is getting ready to go alone if the situation so arises both at the Centre and the state.

For having opposed Mukherjee's candidacy, Mamata is now considered as the villain of the UPA. However, Mamata is unperturbed. Though Mamata is not snapping ties with the UPA or throwing the Congress ministers out of her cabinet in Kolkata, she maintains the Congress wanted an alliance with the Trinamool at the Centre and the state since 2009 Lok Sabha elections, and now if they want to snap ties, they are free to do so.

Mamata's opposition to Mukherjee's candidacy has put the Trinamool chief in a piquant political situation. A senior Trinamool MP asks, "How can you be a part of the UPA and yet not go with their decision. UPA will complete its term till 2014 with the support of Samajwadi Party and the BSP. It is Mamata who will suffer."

Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi observed since Mamata is part of the UPA, she should have attended the coalition meeting on Friday and shown her presidential candidate card. And then if the majority voted otherwise, in a democracy she should have gone with the consensus candidate of the UPA.

"This is my view. Mamata definitely is a tall leader and has reasons for doing what she did," said Trivedi.

If the Congress is agitated with Mamata, the Trinamool leadership is livid with the way the Congress has been treating their CM and ministers in Delhi. No wonder, belligerent railway minister Mukul Roy and state commerce and industries minister Partha Chatterjee have already asked the Congress to leave the state Cabinet.

Defending Mamata, seasoned panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said, "If the Congress thinks they can do without Mamata then let it be so. Where is it written that if you are part of a coalition you can't have a different view? And if the UPA disturbs our ministers or denies a financial package, it means they want to blackmail the Trinamool to ensure votes."

Meanwhile, the Congress leadership is peeved with Mamata for her move to stall Mukherjee's elevation. This, they think has hurt the Bengali feelings.

"His nomination is a pride for Bengal. After what Mamata did, it is difficult to be her ally here," said PCC chief and MP Pradip Bhattacharya.

Trinamool sources said, Mamata is going to drum up Congress' seeking of Left votes to send Mukherjee to Raisina Hill.

"This will prove our constant allegation that the Left and the Congress have a covert relationship and people will know it. People will give them a fitting reply in the ensuing polls," said Mamata.