KOLKATA: Ideologically poles apart and nationally at loggerheads, the BJP in West Bengal wants to be a part of a grand alliance with Congress and the Left on the floor of the Bengal assembly.
Just after taking oath as a BJP MLA on Monday, state president Dilip Ghosh made it clear that the party is ready to fight jointly against the ruling Trinamool Congress with Congress and Left Front MLAs.
Ghosh’s statement is remarkable as BJP has always been considered political untouchable in Bengal where the Left has dominated the discourse for more than three decades after 1977.
BJP has three MLAs while Congress has 44 and the Left 32. BJP’s alliance partner Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has three MLAs.
TMC enjoys brute majority with 211 seats out of a total of 294.
“People gave us a mandate to sit in the opposition. For raising the voice of the people, we are ready to fight together (with the Left front and Congress) against Trinamool Congress,” said Dilip Ghosh in the assembly premises.
Left Front and Congress leaders were, however, cautious about BJP overtures. A few Left leaders also pointed out that BJP actually helped Trinamool Congress remain in power.
“There is no question of coming to us. If a bill is placed, they will do what they think is right, and we will do what we decide. It may so happen that both camps end up opposing it. That does not mean they are with us,’ said Manoj Chakraborty, Congress general secretary and MLA.
“Let us first see what they do when the time comes. How will they join us in the fight? Experience has taught us that they gave advantage to Trinamool Congress,” said Abdul Mannan, senior Congress leader and MLA.
“How is this possible? They are driven by Sangh’s agenda. The Centre took no step against Trinamool Congress in scam after scam,” said Md Salim, CPI-M politburo member and Lok Sabha MP.
Trinamool Congress leaders appeared unperturbed.