Undisturbed by the rumours of electoral alliances and seat adjustments that her opponents are secretly working on, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has told her senior party leaders to prepare to fight the 2016 Assembly polls in Bengal alone.
The decision comes despite the chances of the CPI(M) and the Congress reaching a clandestine seat-adjustment in many constituencies against the Trinamool Congress candidates and former Trinamool general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy floating a new political outfit here in August and allying with the BJP to fight the elections.
“Factionalism in the party should be immediately stopped. We must take advantage of the development work done by our government. We must unite and fight together against all the forces in the elections,” Mamata Banerjee recently told a core group of senior leaders at her residence.
Trinamool Congress leaders believe Mamata will announce her decision to fight the 2016 Assembly elections alone at the Martyr’s Day Rally on July 21. In the summer of 2011, she had struck a pre-electoral seat-adjustment with the Congress and defeated the Left Front in the Assembly polls.
But today, she has completely ruled out any alliance with the Congress to defeat the CPI(M) and the BJP here. Senior Trinamool leaders pointed out that successive and overwhelming victories of the party in the panchayat and the municipality elections in the last four years in Bengal have made Mamata very confident.
“With nearly 40% vote-bank in her kitty, which is expected to increase further, and with the Muslim support intact, Mamata’s poll managers are confident of sweeping the elections,” said a Trinamool MP.
While ruling out the rumour of an alliance with the CPI(M), the state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said: “The question of alliance would be determined by the AICC. The PCC leaders were not begging anybody to bail them out in the elections. We will perform according to our strength,” said Chowdhury.
However, it is learnt that to prevent a Mamata tsunami in the ensuing Assembly elections, a section of the Congress thinks that a seat adjustment with the CPI(M) would only benefit the opposition. They argued that the combined vote-bank of the Congress and the CPI(M) was a challenge for the Trinamool and a sure alternative to the fundamentalist forces of the state. “An alliance will definitely help the Congress. Let the AICC and the PCC decide,” said Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya.
Meanwhile, Trinamool top brass is keeping a close watch on Mukul Roy. The Trinamool camp believes Mukul is expected to launch his new party in August. And at the time of leaving the party, he would take halfa-dozen Trinamool MLAs with him. “His options are open. He could ally with the Congress or the BJP. But the BJP will be his natural choice in the elections,” said a Trinamool leader.