No tie-up with Cong: Mamata
The CPI(M) seems to be on the verge of breaking up with the Congress over the Indo-US nuclear deal, but Mamata Banerjee has made it clear that she will not tie up with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls.
She apparently took the decision after Trinamool Congress showed good results in the municipal polls. Mamata said an alliance would depend on post-poll political equation developing at the Centre.
"People are voting for Trinamool, which means they have accepted our stand to fight alone," said Mamata.
With the rift between the Congress and the CPI(M) widening, the former is inching closer to Mamata. It is learnt that the Congress high command has indicated that once the Left withdraws support from the Centre, the Congress would want an alliance with Mamata in Bengal.
With Trinamool making an electoral comeback in Bengal, the Congress strategists say it stands to gain the most by allying with Mamata, not only to settle scores with the CPI(M) but also to make political gains.
But Mamata is not open to the Congress overtures. She maintains that she would keep away both from the Congress and the BJP. And Mamata has reasons for that. The Trinamool chief thinks her party's alliance with the Congress in 2001 Assembly poll affected her party's image. People rejected the combination.
In the 2006 Assembly polls, the Congress decided not to ally with Mamata, as it was taking Left's support at the Centre. On both the occasions, people rejected Mamata's overtures to the Congress, as they considered the Congress a B-team of the CPI(M) here and its ally at the Centre.