Pranab takes on Left, makes peace with Trinamool | india | Hindustan Times
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Pranab takes on Left, makes peace with Trinamool

Barely four months before the crucial assembly elections in West Bengal, the Congress has put to rest speculation about a rift with its ally, the Trinamool Congress, and trained its guns at the beleaguered Left Front.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2010 23:53 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

Barely four months before the crucial assembly elections in West Bengal, the Congress has put to rest speculation about a rift with its ally, the Trinamool Congress, and trained its guns at the beleaguered Left Front.

While making it clear that the Congress will contest the election with the Trinamool, Mukherjee lashed out at the Left Front, comparing the law and order situation in the state to "jungle raj".

The latest round of the battle was ignited by a letter bomb from the home minister P Chidambaram, in which he asked the state government to rein in the armed CPI(M) cadres.

"What kind of a jungle rule one is living in here? Government's first duty is to protect people and if that is not kept, what is the meaning of a government? In whole of West Bengal, this situation prevails," Mukherjee said on Sunday.

The Congress strategy of suddenly mounting pressure on the Left Front government by sending the letter and asking it to respond is being seen as an attempt to keep the Trinamool Congress in good humour.

This followed some friction between the two parties recently. Congress MP Deepa Dasmunshi had caused some unease by saying the Trinamool chief was running a "disrespectful alliance." Mukherjee's statements have, however put to rest talks of a rift.

The Left Front responded to Mukherjee's words instantly. "This letter is meant to please the Trinamool. We shall give a fitting reply tomorrow," said chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at a public rally.

"...Chidambaram has raised the topic of our armed cadres. But does he know Trinamool has a tie-up with the Maoists in Bengal," said Bhattacharjee.

In Delhi, CPI(M) central leadership said the letter seemed to be politically motivated. "It is not right for the home minister to have written the letter and leaked its contents keeping the chief minister in the dark. It will affect Centre-state relations," said CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat.

The Trinamool Congress preferred to wait and watch. "This is an issue between the Centre and the state government, we are watching the situation closely," said party leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay.