A substantial section of the Congress leadership in West Bengal has taken umbrage at Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to the hike in fuel prices and at her reported insistence that her party, despite being a constituent of the United Progressive Alliance government, will continue to raise common men’s concerns over decisions she believes adversely affects them.
The Congress resentment comes at a time when both parties are striving at consensus on seat adjustments for the elections to 82 civic bodies in the State.
“It is one thing that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) takes to the streets in protest against the rise in prices of fuel and quite another for the Trinamool that is a constituent of the government at the Centre to do so,” a senior Pradesh Congress Committee leader told The Hindu after a PCC core committee meeting here on Monday.
The Trinamool took out a protest rally in the city on February 27.
Ms. Banerjee, has, however, stressed that her raising the people’s concerns on the fuel price hike, should not be construed as a threat to the future of her party’s alliance with the Congress.
She said attempts by her detractors to drive a wedge in the alliance would not work.
In an interview to a local television channel on Sunday, Ms. Banerjee said attempts were being made to create confusion about the future of the Congress-Trinamool alliance in the State.
She emphasised that her party would remain in the UPA government even as it “continues to raise the people’s concerns over various issues.”
At Monday’s PCC core committee meeting, organisational matters and the Congress membership drive were discussed. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also PCC president, was present.