Kolkata, June 25 : With the CPI(M) threatening to withdraw support to the UPA government at the Centre over the proposed nuclear accord with the US, Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee has offered a unique formula to the Bengal Congress leadership to prevent a split in anti-left votes in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Banerjee has suggested that the two parties stick to their respective strongholds, south Bengal and north Bengal, at the time of filing nominations and do not "encroach into each other's territory." The idea is to achieve some kind of seat adjustment to ensure one-to-one contests against the CPI(M)-led Left Front.
State Congress president and union information minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi has welcomed Banerjee's suggestion and hopes to bring her party into a broader electoral alliance before the Lok Sabha polls.
The Trinamul leader, however, wants the Congress to follow a uniform policy on the question of forging an electoral pact with her party-from the panchayat to the Lok Sabha level. "If the Congress can join hands with us to capture rural bodies and municipal boards, it should be prepared to follow the same policy during Assembly and Lok Sabha elections," she observed.
Banerjee achieved remarkable success in the rural polls by following a policy of maintaining equidistance from the Congress and the BJP without formally terminating her party's ties with the NDA. However, while Dasmunshi wants her to quit the NDA to pave the way for an official entente with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee has come out with the new formula over seat-sharing. She feels the Congress should consider it as an acceptable arrangement short of an electoral alliance since her party has virtually no ties with the BJP in Bengal..
The Trinamul leader, however, has made it clear that there will be no let-up in her anti-CPI(M) tirade whatever be the Congress's political compulsions at the national level. Nor is she ready to support the Centre's policies "which have led to the high rate of inflation and price rise."
Banerjee has also received a shot in the arm with former state Congress president and ex-leader of the Congress legislature party Atish Sinha deciding to join Trinamul Congress along with his followers in Murshidabad. Sinha's decision is expected to strengthen the political base of Trinamul Congress in the district which happens to be a Congress stronghold. Sinha happens to be a loyalist of Somen Mitra, former PCC chief, who is Dasmunshi's chief detractor in Bengal Congress. Of late, Mitra too has been trying to improve his personal relationship with the Trinamul leader. By Gautam Ghosh