The conciliatory gestures by the Trinamool Congress and its ally Congress on Sunday turned out to be short-lived. The two parties were back at the slanging match on Monday, with a Congress minister in West Bengal slamming the Trinamool, which in turn threatened to take the feud to Congress bastions in north Bengal.
At a hurriedly called press conference at Writers’ Buildings, Congress minister for small-scale industries Manoj Chakraborty declared, “We have not won the polls or stepped in here (Writers’ Buildings) at the mercy of someone (read Mamata Banerjee). We, too, have the right to speak up. If our high command in New Delhi asks me, I will quit my ministerial post and leave this place.”
Accusing the Trinamool of behaving like the CPI(M), Chakraborty raised the issue of the state government’s plan to rename Indira Bhawan. He said Indira Gandhi had been an inspirational figure known throughout the world and that the Congress would never accept renaming of state government bungalow. Jyoti Basu lived in the bungalow for many years as chief minister when the Left Front was in power.
The Trinamool on its part got its youth wing to organise a public meeting in the heart of the city, where party leaders lambasted the Congress.
“We have planned to launch a series of rallies in Murshidabad, Malda and North Dinajpur (districts). If the Congress continues to strengthen the hands of the CPI(M), they will have to face us in their own strongholds. MP Suvendu Adhikary will lead these rallies,” state sports minister and Trinamool leader Madan Mitra said at the rally.
Union minister Sudip Bandopadhyay said the Congress had been keeping the Trinamool in the dark regarding all policies that affected ordinary people, such as the price rise.