Congress, which sees a "growing proximity" between Trinamool Congress and BJP, today went all out against Mamata Banerjee over the violent clashes in West Bengal after the attack on her by SFI activists in New Delhi.
"There are allegations that leaders and cadres of Trinamool Congress supported by the wilful inaction of the local police and administration are targeting not only the party offices of Left parties but also the Congress workers and leaders. We strongly condemn it," party in-charge of West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed told reporters.
Terming this as a "very disturbing affair", he said that while nobody should encourage violence, "It is the duty of the state government to control the situation by taking whatever steps are possible. This is no way to retaliate. Nobody has the right to take law into his hands."
Asked whether Congress regrets that by aligning with Banerjee in the last assembly elections, it only helped one culture of political violence in the state to be replaced by another, Ahmed said, "It is true that it did not suit Congress and it did not come to our expectations of our party. That is why we parted ways."
Though he caveated his response by adding "there is no question of regret", he agreed that it's indeed a case of one culture of violence in West Bengal politics being replaced by another culture of violence.
An AICC leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said that Banerjee's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday were fixed at her request and were not in connection with any meeting called by the Centre.
"She wanted to avoid being in Kolkata on a day, Modi addressed a gathering. Though there is growing proximity between her and the BJP, she will not announce it before the polls as she fears that she may lose votes of minorities there, which constitute around 30% of total votes," the leader said.