Trinamool Congress: Blow hot, blow cold
Though the unpredictable Trinamool Congress has often absented itself from crucial meetings of the combine, it has promised to regularly attend meetings of the UPA coordination committee. Saubhadra Chatterji reports.delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2012 02:21 IST
Though the unpredictable Trinamool Congress has often absented itself from crucial meetings of the combine, it has promised to regularly attend meetings of the UPA coordination committee.
The Congress also wants its biggest ally, which has 19 Lok Sabha and nine Rajya Sabha MPs, to be a party to the panel's decision-making process. And with the opposition raising its pitch against the ruling dispensation with each passing day, exhibiting a little unity wouldn't really hurt.
"Banerjee will come for the meetings if there is an important agenda... Otherwise, Mukul Roy will be her representative," said a key aide of the Trinamool chief.
The West Bengal CM's turnaround on supporting the UPA presidential candidate has renewed hopes of obtaining a financial package for the debt-ridden state. The UPA, for its part, is also being very accommodative. Sources said the date of the last UPA meeting was fixed after consulting Banerjee, and the practice is likely to continue.
Though the Trinamool has announced that it would go it alone in the Bengal panchayat polls, the Congress is not worried. If their calculations from the previous elections are anything to go by, Banerjee will need the Congress's assistance to defeat the Left Front in the 2014 general elections.
At the last meeting, Banerjee raised objections on FDI being imposed on certain sectors, and expressed concern over other economic issues. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had reportedly intervened and asked finance minister P Chidambaram to speak to her. Banerjee, later, agreed to extend her stay.
Also helping relations is the fact that Banerjee seems happy with AK Antony, who acts as a key interlocutor.