Trinamool to support UPA government, no conditions: Mamata


Kolkata: A triumphant Trinamool Congress Monday passed a resolution informing President Pratibha Patil of its support to a Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and said their backing was unconditional.

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The resolution was passed at a meeting of the Trinamool parliamentary party in which all the 19 newly elected Lok Sabha MPs, including its chief Mamata Banerjee, were present.

The meeting also unanimously elected Banerjee as its parliamentary party leader and Sultan Ahmed and Govinda Naskar as deputy leaders.

Briefing newspersons after the meeting at her Kalighat residence, Banerjee said Trinamool general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy was leaving for Delhi Monday night to hand over the letter of support to Patil.

Asked whether her party had set any conditions for the support, Banerjee replied: “There are no terms and conditions involved. This is not a joint venture project… We had a pre-poll alliance with the Congress.”

The meeting also authorised Banerjee to talk to the Congress about government formation.

On a coordination mechanism among UPA partners, Banerjee said: “We will have to talk to the Congress”.

Asked about the ministerial portfolios her party hopes to get, she said: “We maintain good relations with them. There is no need to talk about ministry or which ministry. When people have blessed us, what is more important than that?” she asked.

Banerjee said she saw no problem in continuing her party’s relations with the Congress till the West Bengal assembly polls two years from now. “There will be no problem. Our good relations will continue.”

When asked if she would speak to West Bengal’s ruling Left Front constituents like the Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) to bring them into her alliance, Banerjee said: “We have said the Left is not bad. But the CPI-M-led Left Front is bad. All left parties are not bad.”

The Trinamool won 19 seats while its alliance partners Congress and the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) got six and one, respectively, in West Bengal. The ruling Left Front suffered a defeat, managing victories on only 15 of the state’s 42 seats.

Banerjee said with the SUCI opposed to the Congress ideologically, its sole member Tarun Mandal would not support the UPA.

“They have a long-standing anti-Congress policy. So the letter of support will contain the names of our 19 MPs. But as far as sitting arrangements in the Lok Sabha are concerned, our 19 MPs and Mandal will sit together. Ours will be a block of 20 MPs.”