WB Congress chief rules out TMC tie-up

Putting the onus of forging pre-poll alliance in West Bengal on the Congress high command, the newly appointed WBPCC chief Adhir Chowdhury has said the question of alliance with the Trinamool Congress is for the top leadership to take.

Chowdhury, who is also the minister of state for railways, however said a tie-up with the Trinamool is not on the cards and he does not think it would happen in any eventuality.

“I have no information on any alliance,” Chowdhury, a known critic of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, said.

His appointment before the Lok Sabha elections, while intended to revive the party ahead of the polls, is also a clear sign that the Congress does not want to have anything with the ruling dispensation.

Conversely, some state leaders do not entirely rule out alliance with the TMC, given Congress’ abysmal situation.

They feel while the Left is not strong enough in the state, the TMC could win a handful of seats from both within and outside Bengal as anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare campaigns for the party.

The leaders say it would be harder to rule out talk of an alliance, especially if Congress gets to a position of forming the government with outside support.

For now at least, state Congress leadership, including Chowdhury, are content to maintain silence over an alliance with the Trinamool, which could bolster Congress’ position in the state.

Congress and the TMC contested the 2009 elections jointly, despite protests from a section of the state leadership, enabling the former to win six seats.

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