After her outburst on Saturday when Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee said the Congress was free to leave the ruling alliance in West Bengal, her party piped down considerably on Sunday, leaving the door open for negotiations.
"We did not and do not want to sever relations with the Congress or close the door for dialogue. We just want the Congress to be pro-people at the Centre and respect the aspirations of the people of Bengal," Trinamool's union minister Sultan Ahmed said.
"We never went public with our reservations nor did we say something wrong against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. But the Congress should stop taking decisions, keeping us in the dark," he added.
The Congress, on its part, also took a conciliatory stand. "We all understand her concerns and I am sure she also understands our compulsions. I think it's just the need for better communication and there isn't lack of ability on both sides to be able to communicate," senior Congress leader and union minister Salman Khurshid said in New Delhi. "I am sure Mamataji also has expectations from people who voted for her to change the ruling establishment in Bengal after such a long time. But again we are a national party and we have a lot of expectations that go beyond the concerns of only one state," Khurshid added.
The Trinamool however retained some reservations about the Congress in West Bengal. "(Chief minister) Mamata Banerjee has in such a little time done mammoth work despite the fact that she inherited a debt of nearly Rs 3 lakh crore from the Left Front government.
The CPI(M) is speechless and unfortunately, the Congress, whom we accepted as our friend, is speaking on their behalf. The ball is in the court of the Congress now," Ahmed said.
With inputs from Delhi