Cong rules out alliance with TMC

AICC observer for West Bengal Shaqeel Ahmed today made it clear that there was no possibility of an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in the near future, making it evident that the Congress was extremely bitter about the way in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee parted ways with them.

Ahmed also said that party president Sonia Gandhi would visit the state in November to address a rally in Kolkata.

"The growing hostilities between the two parties and the manner in which Mamataji mimicked the Prime Minister were bad. I don't think there can be any alliance between the two parties in future,'' Ahmed said at the end of a meeting of the Extended Executive Committee of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee at the state party headquarters at Bidhan Bhavan.

While a resolution was formally taken that the Congress would fight the panchayat election alone, it also decided to launch campaigns against the Trinamool Congress ahead of the polls.

Plea to Centre

The state Congress apparently taking a lesson from the discouraging results of the Jangipur byelection in which its candidate Abhijit Mukherjee won by a slender margin of 2,536 votes appealed to the central government to reduce the price of fertilisers and increase the subsidy cap on LPG cylinders. The Congress also demanded that the Centre set up a branch of AIIMS at Raiganj in North Dinajpur, which the state government has been opposing vehemently.

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