A team of senior state Congress leaders met party supremo Sonia Gandhi on Thursday and discussed a possible tie-up with the Left to end the Trinamool Congress regime and stop the growth of BJP in the state.
The team of five – Abdul Mannan, Pradeep Bhattacharya, Deepa Dasmunshi, Somen Mitra and Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury – met Sonia at 10.30 in the morning.
“Yes, we had met her (Sonia) and discussed matters regarding ways to stop the rising communal force here in Bengal and one of the most viable option is to create a secular, democratic front. People are not happy with Mamata. The last election at Bongaon has been an exception because the TMC candidate got all sympathy votes and the Muslim population, anticipating the rise of BJP had voted for TMC, in the absence of an alternative. There is a need to create a non-BJP, non-TMC front and an alliance with the Left is the most viable option at the moment,” Mannan said.
Asked about Sonia’s response to the proposal, Mannan said, “She gave us a patient hearing but did not make any comment. She said she would discuss the issue with other members of AICC and let us know of the decision.”
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, however, expressed displeasure about the meeting. “The views are of the leaders personally and not that of the state Congress. These topics should have been discussed here when CP Joshi, the AICC general secretary and in-charge of Bengal, was here for a two-day meet with senior party leaders,” he said.
Chowdhury added that elections were about a year-and-a-half away and it was too early to predict an alliance. “The situation will keep on changing till the next polls. At the moment, we should concentrate on strengthening the party here,” he said.
Senior CPIM leader Md Selim brushed aside any possibility of a tie-up. “What they have discussed is their internal matter and members of any party can express their views to their leader but the Left had been clear enough that they would not go for any alliance with the Congress,” Selim said.