Trinamool Congress is open to local alliances in Assam with parties that are aggressively fighting the BJP but "under no circumstance" will it ally with Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF, the BJP's "B-team", said state unit chief Ripun Bora on Saturday.
Observing that the TMC will support the opposition's joint candidate in the upcoming presidential election, Mr Bora, however, remained non-committal on whether the Mamata Banerjee-led party will enter into any understanding with the Congress in Assam as it is "not fighting BJP in the way it should have".
"The TMC will obviously support the opposition candidate in the presidential election. Our central leadership has authorised our state unit to forge alliances at the local level.
"However, there will be no alliance with the AIUDF under any circumstance as it is no longer an opposition party, it is the BJP's B-team," Mr Bora told PTI on the sidelines of the party's first state executive meeting here.
On the possibility of an alliance with the Congress, Mr Bora said the state's largest opposition party is not fighting the BJP in the way it should have.
"TMC wants to join hands with parties fighting BJP aggressively," he said, without specifying any likely allies in the state.
Addressing a press conference at the same venue, Mr Bora said, "We will not have an alliance with any party that has a soft spot for the BJP." The state unit chief said the TMC will launch a massive membership drive with an aim to bolster its ranks by the end of this year.
"We have five lakh members now. We will launch an intensified membership drive once the floodwaters recede," he said.
Mr Bora said the party will continue opposing the camping of dissident Maharashtra MLAs in a luxury hotel here, alleging that it was giving a bad name to the state as a ground for 'horse trading'.
"Our chief minister is emerging as an expert in horse trading, encounters and spreading hatred. It does not augur well for our state," the former MP said.
Among the decisions adopted at the executive meet, which was also attended by Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen, were demands for restoration of 'special status' for Assam, a "correct and updated" National Register of Citizens, resolving the issue of "doubtful voters" and regularisation of government jobs.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)