Mamata plays alliance card, opposition questions her acceptability

New Delhi/Kolkata : Looking for prospective alliance partners for her Trinamool Congress, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said nobody in politics was “untouchable” and asserted she was open to talks with other parties.

The opposition in West Bengal – the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) lost no time in slamming Banerjee by questioning her political loyalty and acceptability.

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“I am very happy if anybody talks to me. I love and respect all leaders and I do not think any political party is untouchable. I can talk to anybody if they want to talk to me,” Banerjee told media persons in the national capital.

Up in arms against the BJP, Banerjee had in August made similar overtures to her arch-rivals, the Marxists, saying she was open to talks if the Communists came with a proposal.

Ridiculing Banerjee’s latest bid to hunt for an ally, BJP’s Bengal vice president Tathagata Roy said it was Banerjee who was “politically untouchable”.

“She is asserting nobody is untouchable in politics, perhaps she should realise, that it is she, who is politically untouchable. She has no loyalty. Today she supports one party and tomorrow she tags on with another. No political party will ever trust her,” Roy said in Kolkata.

Taking a jibe at Banerjee, CPI-M leader Sujon Chakraborty said: “Who better than her, would know that nobody in politics is untouchable? She left Congress to form Trinamool, then supported the BJP. Later she left the BJP to align with Congress.

“But the question is, does she possesses any political acceptability? Can any party afford to trust or rely on her, that is the question,” added Chakraborty.

Congress Bengal president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury too attacked Banerjee saying “she and her Trinamool were engrossed in a battle for existence and looking for an escape routea.

“She is neck deep in political trouble and desperately seeking to come out of it. The way she is making desperate bids to reach out to other political parties is reflective of the grave problem her party is in,” he claimed.