Debating India

WEST BENGAL

Left parties miffed as Cong woos Mamata

Tuesday 7 February 2006, by VARGHESE*George K.

Coalition politics at Centre and Bengal not connected, time for Left to get ?contemporaneous’: Congress

Vigorous attempts by the Congress to rope in Mamata Banerjee as an alliance partner in West Bengal have opened yet another front in the ongoing war of words with the Left.

Disinvestment, airport modernisation and India’s vote on Iran have triggered heated debates between the alliance partners which will only step up the campaign in the West Bengal and Kerala Assembly elections.

Now, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi says that the party is ??interested in an alliance with the Trinamool Congress and we are talking about it’’.

The Congress’ moves in Bengal have come in for sharp criticism from the Left. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat has described as ??contradictory’’ the recent Congress political resolution that called for coalition maryada and at same time declared an uncompromising fight against the Left in the two states. The CPI(M) leader also reportedly criticised Congress attempts to woo Mamata.

Singhvi has advised the Left parties to get ??contemporaneous’’ and move beyond ??stereotype paradigms’’ on issues of foreign policy and the economy.

The Congress, however, has made it clear that an alliance with Mamata is possible only if she severs ties with the BJP. Mamata has refused to do so and has instead invited the Congress to join her nine-party Paschimbanga Ganatantrik Front.

See online : The Indian Express

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