Kolkata, Sep 22: After the formal severance of ties with the Trinamool Congress, the Congress Saturday charged its former ally with strengthening the “communal” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the “opportunistic” Communists by going against its own partner.
“In spite of repeated help and sacrifices by the Congress, the Trinamool has always tried to upstage and humiliate us. By withdrawing support at this crucial juncture, they have only strengthened the hands of communal forces at the centre and the opportunistic Communists in the state,” said senior Congress leader and former minister Manas Bhunia.
Led by state president Pradip Bhattacharya, the Congress Saturday handed over to Governor M.K. Narayanan, the letter of withdrawal of support to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.
Describing Trinamool’s withdrawal from the United Progressive Alliance as “unfortunate and undesirable”, Bhunia said Congress’ pulling out from the state government was inevitable.
“The Trinamool has always strived to strengthen its own base at our cost. They always tried to liquidate us. We have long endured and watched this silently but cannot take it anymore,” said Bhunia, who was one of the six Congress ministers to submit their resignation to Chief Minister Banerjee earlier in the day.
Citing deterioration of law and order and atrocities on women as its reasons to withdraw from the government, the party said it will fight against the Banerjee government for the sake and justice of the people.
The Congress has 42 members in the 294-member state assembly (two more than the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) 40), and it may stake a claim to the post of the leader of the opposition presently held by CPI-M’s Surjya Kanta Mishra.
“We already had a round of discussions with the party leadership and a decision will be taken only after consultation with party high command,” said Bhattacharya.
Earlier in the day, the six Congress ministers – two cabinet-rank and four ministers of state – went in a body to Banerjee’s chamber at the state secretariat, Writers’ Buildings, here and handed over their resignation.