A day after Ministers of the Trinamool Congress resigned from the Union Council of Ministers, six Ministers of the Congress in the West Bengal government handed over their resignations to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the State Secretariat here on Saturday.
This was followed by senior State Congress leaders meeting Governor M.K. Narayanan and submitting a letter to him, stating the party’s withdrawal of support to the State government headed by Ms. Banerjee.
Senior Congress leader and former Minister in the government, Manas Ranjan Bhunia, described the developments here as a “sequel” of the Trinamool Congress withdrawing support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre in a “complex political situation.”
Describing the Trinamool Congress’ decision of snapping three-year-old ties with the Congress as “unfortunate,” he said the Congress has “sacrificed a lot and endured much humiliation [from the Trinamool Congress]”, to ensure that the anti-Left forces could come together in the State.
“The Congress cannot be a silent onlooker in such a situation. Every attempt was made by the Trinamool Congress to humiliate the Congress leadership and liquidate the party in West Bengal,” Mr. Bhunia said.
He accused the Trinamool Congress leadership of ignoring the interest of the State and taking the decision to withdraw support from the UPA government only in party interest.
“The Congress will not wait for a minute to declare a war against the State government if it does anything against the interest of people,” Mr. Bhunia said.
He, however, added that Ms. Banerjee appreciated the Ministers for their efforts in running the government and urged them to contact her on any issue concerning the people.
With the withdrawal of support, the Congress has become the largest party in the Opposition in the Assembly with 42 MLAs. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has 38 MLAs, while the Left Front has the support of 61 MLAs. The Trinamool has the support of 185 members in the Assembly, which has 294 seats.
Asked whether the party would stake its claim for the post of Leader of the Opposition, State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said a final decision was yet to be taken.
“The party high command has asked us to discuss the matter within the party. We will have a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party on October 12 and take a final decision,” he said.