The West Bengal Congress leadership on Sunday claimed that it was sincere in its efforts at keeping intact the alliance with the Trinamool Congress — which, however, collapsed for the coming civic polls — and described as unacceptable any attempt by the CPI(M) “to divide the Opposition”.

Releasing the party manifesto here, Pradesh Congress Committee working president Pradip Bhattacharya, said: “If any CPI(M) leader thinks his [party] will divide the Opposition forces by blind criticism, that will never be accepted.”

Mr. Bhattacharya was referring to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's remark earlier in the day that even the Congress had been forced to oppose the Trinamool at several places in the civic polls because of the political culture of violence the latter engaged in.

“Who asked them [the CPI-M] to be an agent of the Congress? We do not require any agent from any quarter,” Mr. Bhattacharya said.

“The CPI(M) knows that the Congress-Trinamool combination is ahead of the Left parties in electoral terms. It has already started pre-empting this combination with the 2011 Assembly polls in mind,” said CLP leader Manas Bhunia.

The Congress, in its manifesto, explained why the alliance with the Trinamool failed. The two parties have been blaming each other for the alliance falling through though their leadership maintains that the main adversary is the CPI(M).