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Mamta rules out covert alliance with Congress

Mamta said any tie-up with the Congress should be formal in nature for the coming assembly elections.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 18:58 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday ruled out the possibility of any covert understanding with the Congress and said any tie-up with it should be formal in nature for the coming assembly elections.

"There should not be anything covert in case of an electoral alliance with Congress. We are for a formal tie-up," Banerjee, who recently kickstarted a 12-party front, which included BJP, said in Kolkata.

Putting the ball into the Congress' court, she said "we want a one-to-one fight against the CPI-M. If Congress comes, it is welcome".

Banerjee, who had met veteran Congress leader ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury last night at a social function, said there was no political discussion with him. "But Barkatda (Ghani Khan) has taken initiative and also supports the mahajot (grand alliance). Let us see what happens," she said.

A proponent of anti-CPI-M alliance, Ghani Khan had stated that he would try to persuade the Congress high command to join an alliance against the CPI-M.

The Trinamool Congress supremo, who was leaving the city tonight to tour some districts, said she was open to talks with the Congress leadership on the issue of "mahajot" although the latter had put a condition saying Trinamool Congress has to severe ties with BJP to ally with it.

Putting her foot down, she said her party had not raised any question about Congress taking the help of the CPI-M to run the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress should not also put any condition. "Our main goal is to fight the CPI-M in West Bengal", she said.

First Published: Jan 13, 2006 19:26 IST