Akhilesh backs TMC on Cong-less Opp alliance

Mamata to meet Naveen Patnaik, leaders of other regional parties

Akhilesh backs TMC on Cong-less Opp alliance

Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav [Photo:SNS]

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav called on Trinamul Congress (TMC) chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Friday evening for an hour-long meeting during which Mr Yadav is said to have backed the TMC’s effort to forge an Opposition alliance against the BJP without the Congress Party.

Mr Yadav, who is in the city for a meeting of the Samajwadi Party’s national working committee, called on Miss Banerjee at the latter’s Kalighat residence this evening. Mr Yadav was accompanied by Mr Kironmoy Nanda.

While neither of the leaders disclosed what was discussed at their meeting to the Press, sources in the Trinamul Congress said the Samajwadi Party is in agreement with the TMC on the issue of staying away from the Congress while forging an Opposition alliance.


Mr Yadav, earlier in the day, told mediapersons: “In Bengal, we are with Mamata didi. Right now, our stand is we want to maintain equidistance from both the BJP and the Congress.” Senior Trinamul Congress leaders said Miss Banerjee will start getting in touch with likeminded regional parties.

In this connection, Miss Banerjee will hold a meeting with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on 23 March.Miss Banerjee plans to go to Delhi and meet leaders of like-minded regional parties in early April, said party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay this afternoon.

Mr Bandyopadhyay, the Trinamul Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, held a Press conference along with state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya after a two-hour long strategy meeting of the Trinamul Congress which was held at Mamata Banerjee’s residence in Kalighat today.

Mr Bandyopadhyay said it was decided that Trinamul would increase its strength in other states. At present the party has no desire to go with the Congress party, he said, contending that the Congress is not giving the regional parties the proper respect due to them.

“In Bengal they are working with CPI-M and BJP to cause trouble to Trinamul and in Delhi they want us to be by their side. This is ridiculous, “ he commented.

Mrs Bhattacharya said that in Meghalaya, the TMC bagged five seats and in 12 seats, the party stood second. “This is encouraging and Congress is losing ground everywhere. But the party has failed to realise this,” she said.

Mr Bandyopadhyay added: “Modi wants Rahul Gandhi as the face of the Opposition as it will help him to win 2024 Lok Sabha election. The Trinamul’s view is very clear in the matter. The name of the PM’s candidate will be announced once the election is over. The person is not important, the like-minded parties should work together to oust the BJP from the Centre.”

He further alleged that the BJP had stalled the functioning of Lok Sabha so that the Opposition parties could not raise questions on key issues. “The BJP wants that Rahul Gandhi should tender apology for his statement abroad. This is just a plea. They want to divert the attention of people from key issues like the deterioration of the financial health of SBI and LIC and the scam involving the Adani group. Trinamul had raised these issues on 14 March in New Delhi.”Mrs Bhattacharya said Trinamul was mature enough to launch political movement on its own and did not need to learn from any one.

Mr Bandyopadhyay said it had been decided that Mamata Banerjee would meet party leaders from the districts three days in a month. He said that she did not give any instructions regarding the forthcoming Panchayat election which would be held in peaceful atmosphere.

He said Trinamul had full faith in the investigating agencies but the way in which they are behaving at times had raised questions regarding their impartiality even by the judiciary. Trinamul wants them to work independently and they should not be puppets in the hands of the saffron party