Mamata’s national ambitions could hamper opposition unity
New Delhi: Trinamool’s Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, was in Delhi for four days, but did not meet with Acting Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Instead, she chose to meet disgruntled congressional leaders and while in Delhi the congressional unit in Meghalaya split and former chief minister Mukul Sangma joined the TMC.
Not only Sangma but in Delhi, Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar joined the party although Tanwar left the TMC in 2019. Prior to that, the TMC had brought in Laliteshpati Tripathi from the Congress of Uttar Pradesh, Luizinho Faleiro to Goa and Sushmita Dev in Assam. Dev and Faleiro were sent to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament).
Mamata met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her visit this week, but when asked about a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, she said there was no need to meet Sonia Gandhi every time. Banerjee will likely meet with Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena executives when he visits Mumbai.
While Congress is closely monitoring these developments, it is refraining from directly attacking TMC’s supremo. Instead, he accuses poll strategist Prashant Kishor of luring congressional leaders into the fold of the TMC.
Mamata Banerjee is keen to expand her base outside of Bengal, however, and her foray into national politics could hamper broader discussions on the opposition’s national unity. The cracks are visible with indirect congressional targeting, with the
Goa congressional official Dinesh Gundu Rao attacks Kishor and alleges he is cheating on the TMC leader.
âWhat are their intentions (TMC)? They just came here to help the BJP. And I don’t know if Mamata Didi knows it or not. But the people who run this IPAC (Kishor’s outfit), they have a whole different agenda, I think. They may even betray Mamata Didi, âRao said.
However, before the winter session of Parliament, Congress, anxious to forge a strong alliance against the government, talks with the TMC. On Constitution Day, the opposition boycotted the event, but now Congress views the TMC with suspicion. The Meghalaya split was all the rage within the party as Congress already faced a BJP assault in the northeast.
Mukul Sangma, who had differences with the president of the State Congress, Vincent H Pala, after resigning from the party, said: âTo be an effective opposition party and to serve the people according to their wishes, we joined the Trinamool Congress. Our commitment to the people was not respected despite our meeting with the central leadership on several occasions. “
Pala said the split will not affect the party. However, the central leadership of Congress knows the damage but has been unable to do much to stop the leaders who quit the party and witness it helplessly.
Congress could not send all of these leaders to the Upper House. He is also out of power in the majority of states except Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Punjab and heads a coalition government in Maharashtra and Jharkhand as a junior partner.