This Article is From Jan 05, 2012

Trinamool is BJP's B-team, says angry Congress in Bengal

Trinamool is BJP's B-team, says angry Congress in Bengal
Kolkata: Hitting back at the Trinamool Congress for alleging it was colluding with the Marxists, the West Bengal state Congress leadership on Wednesday termed its alliance partner as the 'B-team' of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left Front. It also accused the Trinamool of constantly playing  spoilsport to various policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre.

"We are being constantly blamed as the B-team of the CPI-M. But it is Trinamool which has been on the same boat with BJP on the issue of FDI in retail. They (Trinamool), with BJP and the Left, had opposed the FDI in retail, although they are our alliance partners. In the case of the Lokpal Bill also, Trinamool MPs in Rajya Sabha took the same tone as that of CPI-M MP Sitaram Yechury," said Deepa Dasmunsi, the Congress MP from Raiganj in North Bengal.

"Why can't we call them B-team of Left and BJP when on each and every issue they are opposing the Congress at the centre? They are the B-team of CPI-M and Left," said Mrs Dasmunsi.

Manas Bhuniya, state irrigation minister and senior Congress leader, echoing Mrs Dasmunsi said: "Why are they always criticising us by saying that we are the B-team of CPI-M if we don't agree with them on certain issues?"

The state congress leadership was speaking at a rally organised to protest against the "inaction" on the part of the state government in ensuring farmers get  proper prices for their agricultural produce.

The relationship between the Congress and the Trinamool hit a new low over Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's proposal to rename Indira Bhavan, a building named after the former Congress Prime Minister, in Kolkata's Salt Lake. The building was the official residence of the late West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu. But controversy erupted after the CPM vacated the building last week. Ms Banerjee wants the building renamed Nazrul Bhavan after the legendary Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul.

The West Bengal Chief Minister had on Tuesday accused the Congress of colluding with the Communists to hurt Trinamool. "Congress is protesting against renaming Indira Bhavan but they never protested when Indira Bhavan became Jyoti Bhavan, CPM's party office, during Jyoti Basu's regime for 34 years. Every day they are working with the CPM to block roads. Together they are slamming us every day, but I have never used strong words against Manmohan ji or Sonia ji," said Ms Banerjee.

The Congress-Trinamool ties both in the state and at the centre have remained uneasy since Mamata Banerjee joined the UPA after the 2009 Lok Sabha election. She has bitterly opposed and blocked some of the key policies and bills of the UPA government, including the anti-corruption Lokpal bill. Ms Banerjee also raised objections to the proposed foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, forcing the government to put the move on hold.