Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee has said that her opposition to the fuel price hike will not affect her alliance with the Congress.
Dismissing reports that the issue has created problems in the alliance, Ms Banerjee said in an interview to a local TV channel: "The Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance will continue despite obstacles. Some are trying to create confusion over our alliance with Congress. I request them that they should not try to create confusion over our alliance. We will remain in the UPA government, while continuing to raise people's concerns on various issues."
Brushing aside her differences with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the fuel price hike, Mamata Banerjee also said she was interested in ensuring that Bengal be safe from the CPM's misrule.
"If Pranabda becomes the chief minister in the next Assembly elections, I am ready to serve as his clerk. To me ministry is not a big thing. People of Bengal know me. I am not interested in posts," Mamata said.
Congress working president in West Bengal Pradip Bhattacharjee said he along with other office-bearers of the party's state unit had a discussion with Pranab Mukherjee on Monday on seat-sharing with Trinamool Congress for the upcoming elections to 82 municipalities prior to the assembly election next year.
He said in the discussion Mukherjee stressed on district-level discussion between the two parties about seat arrangement and that, if necessary, he would hold parleys.
Asked if Trinamool's street protests against petroleum products price hike had caused a schism in the alliance, he said every political party had a right to ventilate its opinion on issues affecting people, but Congress feels the price rise was needed because of rise in the prices of crude oil.
On whether Congress would start a counter-campaign against Trinamool Congress, he said, "We will do our campaign in our own way to convince the people." (With PTI inputs)