Kolkata: Indicating their desire to end the alliance with the Trinamool Congress, Congress leaders in West Bengal Monday requested the party high command to take a final call on the future of the alliance in the state after the July 19 presidential polls.
“We have told (UPA presidential candidate) Pranabda (Mukherjee) and (party state in charge) Shakeelji (Ahmed) to request the high command to tak ea final call on the future of the alliance in the state after the presidential elections if Trinamool doesn’t support Pranabda’s candidature,” said a Congress legislator on condition ofanonymity.
“We have told them that we don’t want to continue in the alliance as we are being humiliated everyday,” the legislator said.
Congress sources said several legislator and MPs raised their voice against continuation in the alliance as the lawmakers were not ready to take the burden of Trinamool’s “misrule”.
Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier snubbed Mukherjee by rooting for former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
The Trinamool, the second largest constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is yet to take a stand on the presidential election after Kalam declined to contest.
Banerjee has so far opposed Mukherjee’s bid for the top post. She is said to have told her aides that she would decide her stand two or three days before the July 19 vote.
In an indication of a hardening of the Trinamool’s stand, party leader Subrata Mukherjee Sunday said Mukherjee had been a close friend of the Communists through his life.
Mukherjee is pitted against former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, who has the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party and some National Democratic Alliance constituents besides the AIADMK and Biju Janata Dal.
The electoral arithmetic seems to be favouring Mukherjee with all the UPA constituents except Trinamool rooting for him. The Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, All India Forward Bloc, Janata Dal-United and Shiv Sena, besides several other smaller parties have expressed their support for him.