Siliguri: In Delhi, they are friends in the UPA government. But in West Bengal's Siliguri town, the Trinamool and the Congress have turned foes, after the Congress dumped Trinamool and took the Left's support to grab control of the local municipal corporation.
Trinamool and Congress had won 15 seats each in the civic body polls but could not compromise on the mayor's post. So the Congress turned to the Left while Trinamool decided to sit in the opposition. The big question is - will the realignment in Siliguri impact Congress equations with Trinamool and the Left in Delhi, or is Siliguri a one-off event?
"The Congress is exposed. It wrote a letter to the Left for support. The Congress and the Left will now form the board. We will sit in opposition. The mandate of the people of Siliguri has been betrayed," says Trinamool's candidate Gautam Deb. His party maintains that people voted for the alliance and the charismatic leadership of Mamata Banerjee.
Retaliating, Congress MP Deepa Das Munshi says, "If we are accused of betrayal, all I can say is we waited till the last moment for the Trinamool to support us."
For theur part, the Left would do anything to end the Congress-Trinamool alliance that trounced them in the Lok Sabha polls - even if it means backing the Congress despite their bitter parting at the national level. "We decided to support the Congress for peace and stability in Siliguri and its development," explains Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya.
The fact is that the Siliguri situation couldn't have happened without the blessings of the Congress and Left high commands. Considering that this could happen again in Delhi or 2011's West Bengal Assembly polls, the Congress-Trinamool alliance is now certainly under the scanner.