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Mamata must tie up with Congress: Pandey

Source: PTI
May 22, 2004 00:53 IST
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Nationalist Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's firm resolve to remain with National Democratic Alliance despite the party's rout in the Lok Sabha election met  with opposition from within her party with a legislator urging her to rejoin Congress discarding the BJP.

The legislator Sadhan Pandey, known as a Banerjee loyalist in the party, said she must be 'realistic' and strongly consider aligning with the Congress in West Bengal to consolidate a formidable anti-Left Front in the state.

"Trinamool must learn from the results of the Lok Sabha election and realise that of the nine per cent vote base that it lost, one per cent went to Congress... in times when alignment politics is reigning supreme, we must reconsider joining hands with the Congress," Pandey, an MLA from Kolkata's Bartala constituency, told PTI.

To a direct question if it meant that he was keen on rejoining the Congress himself, Pandey said, "I am just suggesting that Mamata Banerjee must now be realistic. When we can have an electoral arrangement with the Congress in Malda and in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, why can't we go ahead and replicate this in the assembly elections too?"

Pandey's comments came close on the heels of a section of partymen and Muslim leaders in the NTC at a recent meeting presided over by Mamata Banerjee expressed reservations over continuing with the NDA.

The Congress had urged the NTC leaders to rejoin Congress to fight the 'communal forces'.  

Another legislator Saugata Roy had said that association with the BJP was a liability. "Gujarat happenings went against us even as NTC had nothing to do with it."

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