Mamata snaps ties with BJP, forms new party
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee announces the formation of the Progressive Democratic Secular Front, reports Arindam Sarkar.kolkata Updated: Dec 31, 2007 00:40 IST
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee announced the formation of the 18-party Progressive Democratic Secular Front on Sunday to take on the CPI(M)-led Left Front in West Bengal. Panchayat elections in the state are scheduled for May next year.
Mamata is the chairperson of the alliance. “It is not a platform to get tickets for elections but a viable alternative to the CPM, something people have been looking for,” Mamata told HT.
The front marks the formal severing of Trinamool ties with the BJP in Bengal. Mamata has flirted with the BJP since 1999 in Bengal, but on Sunday, she said: “There is no NDA in Bengal, there is only Progressive Democratic Secular Front.” The Congress hasn’t joined the alliance either.
The parties constituting the PSDF include Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal-United, Janata Dal-Secular, Indian Union Muslim League, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha among others. Interestingly, some small communist parties have joined. These include breakaway Forward Bloc group Janabadi Forward Bloc, rebel SUCI faction Communist Workers Platform, Paschim Banga Ganatantrik Mancha led by former CPM MLA Sumanta Hira. Naxal outfits like MCPI and CPI(ML) State Organisation Committee are also part of the front.
BJP State general secretary Rahul Sinha said: “A front that does not have the BJP and the Congress is no threat to the CPM.”