Congress condition for joining Mamata’s front

Special Correspondent

“She should first dissociate her party from the NDA”

State Congress leadership “thankful that Ms Banerjee did not support Narendra Modi”

“We now hope that she will leave the NDA without any further delay”

Kolkata: The Congress had no objection to being part of an anti-Left front with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee as leader but she should first dissociate her party from the National Democratic Alliance, general secretary of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee and leader of the Congress Legislative Party in the West Bengal Assembly, Manas Bhunia, said here on Monday.

The State Congress leadership was “thankful and happy that Ms. Banerjee had on Sunday said that she did not support Narendra Modi who is a product of the religious fanatical brand of politics of the BJP.”

“Given Ms. Banerjee’s stand we now hope that she will leave the NDA without any further delay,” he said.

“We have no objection to accepting Ms. Banerjee as leader of the proposed front but she should come out of the clutches of religious fanaticism,” Dr. Bhunia said.

“Opposing Narendra Modi but staying on in the NDA is engaging in double-standards”, he asserted.

Ms. Banerjee was expected to formally announce the formation of a “secular, democratic and progressive” anti-Communist Party of India (Marxist) front on December 30. But the Congress claimed to have proposed such a front earlier.

“We have spoken of the need for a social, democratic and progressive front to fight both the communist and communalist forces in the State and now Ms. Banerjee is also talking of such a morcha. This is welcome; it will only strengthen our cause,” Dr. Bhunia said.

He recalled that the two parties had arrived at an electoral understanding in the 2001 Assembly elections with the Congress agreeing to the Trinamool Congress claim for a larger number of seats.

“We are willing to go in for such an arrangement even in future elections,” Dr. Bhunia said.

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