Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, after having won the Howrah byelection without Congress support, now seeks to push her erstwhile ally into a corner and paint her party as the only ‘anti-left’ face in West Bengal.
And this she is doing with the aim of eating into the Congress’s vote bank and having a say once again in who would form the government at the Centre in 2014.
“Banerjee is the only and real anti-left force in Bengal. The Congress is having a silent alliance with the CPI(M). And they (Congress) paid for that in Howrah. They will pay for it in the upcoming panchayat and Lok Sabha polls. It will be Banerjee versus all others. In the panchayat and later in the Lok Sabha polls we will do better,” said Sultan Ahmed, Trinamool Lok Sabha MP.
The Congress, however, tried to rub it in that the BJP had withdrawn its candidate before the bypoll, making things easier for the Trinamool.
“Banerjee has a tacit understanding with the BJP and people of Bengal will realise that,” said Shakeel Ahmed, the Congress functionary in charge of West Bengal affairs.
Banerjee’s plan comes at a time when the BJP is sending signals to her, with leaders such as Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi praising her.