Congress on Saturday played down ally Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's strong message that her party will remain in UPA as long as it received respect but will go it alone in West Bengal where both parties have an alliance saying she has said nothing which strains the tie-up.
"Banerjee has not said any thing which strains the alliance. She has not said anything objectionable. We had fought even the civic bodies elections in the state separately some time back," AICC in-charge for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed told reporters in New Delhi.
He also stressed that the central leadership of Congress does not interfere in panchayat elections in a state. "We go by whatever decision is taken by PCC in this regard," he said.
Earlier, Banerjee addressing a rally in Kolkata in the day, said "we don't want to survive on anyone's mercy. In Delhi, we are part of the alliance and will remain so as long we are given respect. But in Bengal, we will go it alone".
Raising the pitch again for a three-year moratorium on interest payments, the West Bengal chief minister said her government would wait for some time for the Centre to respond to the state's demand.
"We will wait patiently for some time for the Centre's response to our demand. We will not pay any interest," she said.
Banerjee said her party wanted Congress to stay in the government in West Bengal but would not tolerate any "slander by a section of them in league with the CPI-M".
Responding to the charge, Ahmed said "partners of an alliance should respect each other".