Within 24 hours of the Trinamool Congress formally snapping its ties with the UPA at the Centre, the West Bengal Congress finalised the divorce by pulling out from the Mamata Banerjee government.
The six Congress ministers resigned from the Banerjee ministry on Saturday and, along with other state Congress leaders, geared up to play the opposition. Officially, the reason was given as deterioration of law and order and rising crime against women in West Bengal.
"Now we will hit the streets and explain the policies of the central government and the double standards of Mamata Banerjee to the people," said Pradip Bhattacharya, president of Pradesh Congress Committee.
No TMC candidate against Pranab's son
Meanwhile, in a rare gesture, Banerjee decided not to field any candidate against President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee in the Jangipur Lok Sabha bypoll. On Saturday, the Murshidabad TMC declared that it will not field any candidate for the October 10 poll.
TMC district head Mohd Ali said, "In 2009, an alliance was struck with the Congress. So, out of political courtesy we didn't field any candidate."
Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury, however, said there was no such alliance and that TMC didn't field any candidate knowing that a defeat was inevitable.