No possibility of joining hands with Mamata Banerjee, says West Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra

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Published: February 15, 2019 8:17:01 AM

Mitra said that the BJP talked of a 'Congress-mukt Bharat' (Congress-free India) and the TMC since it came to power in Bengal in 2011, had poached on Congress MLAs and MPs with the sole aim of weakening the party

Mitra said TMC and BJP are two sides of the same coin. (File/IE)

West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra on Thursday reiterated that there was no possibility of the party joining hands with Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Mitra said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the TMC were ‘evil forces’, which had the common goal of wiping out his party.

Mitra also said TMC and BJP are two sides of the same coin.

“Although BJP and TMC are engaged in an apparent fight, they are two sides of the same coin which engages in communal politics. When BJP talks about Ram Mandir, TMC says it will build Surya Mandir in Bengal. When BJP talks about rath yatra, TMC puts up a counter Pavitra yatra,” news agency PTI quoted Mitra as saying.

Mitra said that the BJP talked of a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ (Congress-free India) and the TMC since it came to power in Bengal in 2011, had poached on Congress MLAs and MPs with the sole aim of weakening the party

“The BJP wants to wipe out the Congress from the country, whereas the TMC wants to wipe out the Congress in the state. Both are evil forces, which want to destroy the secular forces in the country,” Mitra, who himself had quit the Banerjee-led party after a stint that lasted a few years, Mitra said.

The statement assumes significance as it came after Congress president Rahul Gandhi and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee agreed to work together to prepare a common minimum programme for a national pre-poll alliance in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.

However, reacting on this, Mitra added that “It will not send out a wrong signal as the two issues should not be mixed up. Rahul Gandhi has extended support to the TMC on the issue of politicising the CBI. But he has never asked us to stop our fight against the TMC in Bengal.”

In another step by the opposition for a united anti-BJP front, top leaders including Gandhi and Banerjee, on Wednesday agreed to work together to prepare a common minimum programme to oust the Narendra Modi government in the upcoming general election and consider forging a national pre-poll alliance.

The meeting of the opposition leaders, hosted by NCP president Sharad Pawar at his residence in New Delhi, also saw Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal coming together for the first time.

Banerjee and her Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu said the entire opposition needed to come together due to “democratic compulsions to save India”.

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