Mamata ignores Cong, party miffed

Mamata ignores Cong, party miffed

West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra with former President Pranab Mukherjee. PTI

The Congress leadership of West Bengal is miffed with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for not having been invited to the TMC's mega rally in Kolkata on January 19.

However, Banerjee has invited Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi to the rally.

This development has prompted Congress state president Somen Mitra to question the chief minister's opposition to the BJP.

TMC's January 19 rally is seen as Mamata's initiative to unite all the anti-BJP parties and bring them on the same dais.

"She (Mamata) claims that she is relentlessly trying to unite the Opposition parties against the BJP but have not bothered to invite state Congress leaders. It makes us wonder how serious she is in opposing the BJP," state Congress chief Somen Mitra told DH.

The development comes at a time when the state Congress has announced that they do not want to get into an alliance with TMC in West Bengal in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The state Congress has made it clear that, pending high command's approval, it is keen to join forces with the Left rather than the TMC.

Mitra alleged that the ruling party in Bengal is silent on many issues against the BJP, including on the Rafale deal.

"When (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi held large-scale protests in Delhi against the Centre's role in the Rafale deal, all major Opposition parties sent prominent leaders. But TMC sent MP Nadimul Haque, who is barely known outside Bengal," said Mitra.

He also pointed out that so far, the TMC has not held any major protests in relation to the Rafale deal in West Bengal.

The state Congress chief also criticised the TMC government for opposing Congress' Bharat Bandh in September, held in protest against the rising prices of petrol and diesel.

He asked what TMC's reason for opposing the bandh was, for which almost all other Opposition parties had given support.

"She (Mamata) is always speaking about Opposition unity. Well, her actions do not match her words," said Mitra.