Bonhomie for 2024 or Morale of State Cadre? Congress in Fix Over Propping Candidate Against 'Didi' in Bhabanipur
राजनीति

Mamata Keeps Gandhis Close Even as Nephew Slams ‘Spineless’ Party. What’s in Store for TMC-Congress Bond?


On August 6, when Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC leader Abhishek stepped out of the ED office after a gruelling inquiry, many expected him to attack the BJP for political vendetta but it was his potshots at the Congress that raised eyebrows in political circles.

“Trinamool Congress, unlike others, will not sell its spine or hide inside its home. If BJP thinks it can frighten TMC by doing all this, if they think TMC will accept defeat like Congress and other parties, we will fight more vigorously. We’ll go to every state where they’ve killed democracy,” the TMC general secretary told reporters.

It was the same day when a section of the state Congress let the party top brass know that they wanted to contest in Bhabanipurfrom where Mamata Banerjee will fight.

ALSO READ | Mamata Proposes, Congress Disposes: ‘Flexible’ Sonia Shows Party Ready to Let Didi Play ‘Big Brother’

The high command of the Grand Old Party was quick to dismiss the state cadre, with Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury saying: “We don’t want to give any benefit to BJP and that is why we don’t want to give any candidate in Bhabanipur.”

The fresh developments in the TMC-Congress bonhomie have revealed the blow hot, blow cold relationship between the parties which are trying to cobble together an alliance to take on the BJP behemoth in 2024.

The latest outreach started after the May 2 Bengal poll results, and especially when Mamata Banerjee visited Delhi.

ALSO READ | The ‘Namaste’ Says It All: Why Mamata’s Meet With Sonia, Rahul Builds Oppn Hope for 2024

The Congress sent feelers to the TMC by sharing Abhishek’s photo on Twitter during the Pegasus controversy, just a day before Mamata Banerjee visited Delhi. The TMC supremo too had a cordial meeting with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi where she emphasised on opposition unity for 2024. The TMC was also part of the breakfast meeting called by Rahul Gandhi to chalk out a roadmap during the Parliament logjam.

Sources in TMC say the party is clear that they will be co-warriors with the Congress, a stand reiterated by leaders, but it will not accept whatever the Congress throws its way. In this context, Abhishek Banerjee’s outburst assumes significance.

Many in the TMC feel the Congress is not aggressive enough and Abhishek’s statement was meant to stir the hornet’s nest. The “weakness” of the Congress is also giving more fuel to the BJP, which the TMC accuses of using agencies such as the CBI and ED against its political rivals.

The Congress has maintained a steady silence so far. Speaking to News18, party MP Pradip Bhattacharya said: “Congress has always fought communal powers and we will continue doing so.”

Political pundits are of the opinion that while the TMC is keen to ally with the Congress, it feels the Grand Old Party can no longer call the shots like before. Abhishek’s statement is thus a nudge to the Congress to pull up its socks before 2024.

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