Merge Trinamool with Congress to fight BJP, Adhir tells Mamata

His observation comes in the wake of defections from her party to BJP.

West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to merge her Trinamool Congress with the Congress in the wake of defections from her party to the BJP.

In 1998, a number of Congress leaders, including Mamata Banerjee, defected from the Congress and floated the Trinamool Congress. It came to power in 2011 by forging an alliance with the Congress and ending 34 years of Left Front rule.

“With so many leaders quitting your party almost on a daily basis, it seems that your party does not have an ideological fulcrum to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party. Therefore, you should merge the Trinamool with the Congress, which will provide you the ideological platform to fight the BJP,” Mr Chowdhury observed.

The MP from Baharampur in Murshidabad district noted that the Trinamool Congress stood at a crucial juncture when its leaders were quitting the party and joining the BJP. “This calls for a moment of introspection as to what the party stands for,” he said.

‘Historical necessity’

Explaining his comments made at a public gathering, Mr. Chowdhury told The Hindu that the rise of the Trinamool Congress was out of a “historical necessity” to remove the Left Front from power, and after achieving the objective, the party had been rudderless. The Trinamool had often been seen adhering to policies bordering on populism and on certain occasions competing with the BJP and giving rise to competitive communalism, he stated.

Mr. Chowdhury, who is one of the principal architects of forging a Left-Congress electoral understanding in the State, has been urging the Trinamool Congress leaders who cannot join the BJP for ideological reasons to return to the Congress.

The Left parties and the Congress are to fight the 2021 elections together as an alliance.

A section of intellectuals is of the opinion that the Left-Congress alliance should fight the BJP along with the Trinamool Congress instead of fighting the Trinamool Congress.

‘Paid back in their own coin’

Mr. Chowdhury, a five-time Congress MP, said the Trinamool Congress was being paid back in their own coin. After coming to power, it tried to engineer defections in every party. “Not only MLAs of Opposition parties, but even elected members of civic bodies and gram panchayats, were pressured to defect to it,” he alleged.

Attempts by the Trinamool Congress to bring leaders of Opposition in their fold was being played out in the State on a regular basis away from the media spotlight before the BJP started poaching on its flock, he added.

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