The bonding between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal may play a crucial role in the forthcoming elections. The alliance is bound to give the Communist Party of India-Marxist sleepless nights in its stronghold.
To find out how serious the threat to the CPI-M is and what are the chances of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC, rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa spoke to Dinesh Trivedi, former Rajya Sabha member who is now contesting on a TMC ticket from the Barrackpore constituency.
How serious is the TMC about the alliance with the Congress? What are the plans for the future?
We are very serious about it and I can say that the Congress and the TMC are solidly together. The elections will be fought together and the TMC will part of the Congress government at the Centre.
Do you think your alliance can be a serious threat to the CPI-M and its Left allies?
We will dent the CPI-M's chances. After these elections, the CPI-M will become irrelevant in national politics. They have already become desperate in West Bengal. The CPI-M over the years has managed to win only thanks to rigging of votes.
The CPI-M has apologised for the violence in Nandigram. What do you think has prompted them to admit Nandigram was a mistake?
Well if they have honestly apologised for it, I can only laugh about it. Honesty and the CPI-M don't go hand in hand. In fact honesty and the CPI-M are poles apart. The true face of the CPI-M has come out in the open and the people have realised it. Apologising for Nandigram is not the answer. If they truly want to apologise then they should quit politics and do social service instead.
Does the Third Front pose a threat to the Congress? What are the TMC's views on the Third Front?
Even the Indian Railways has done away with the third class and I think it is time for the country to do away with this Third Front. This front is nothing but an alliance of disgruntled bodies and in my view it has absolutely no relevance.
Are you confident of the Congress sticking with the TMC? CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat offered to hold talks with the Congress after the elections. Doesn't this worry you especially if the CPI-M manages to bag more seats than the TMC?
Let Karat say what he wants. It is of no relevance to us. The Congress will stick with us no matter what. Let me assure you something here and also tell Karat this. The Congress is in no mood to talk to the CPI-M. They know what the CPI-M has done to them and I am sure that they are not interested in entering into any sort of alliance with the party.
Are you sure that you can trust the Congress? The numbers game post elections can be a very dirty game. There are no friends there at that time.
Yes I am sure about our faith in the Congress and I am telling you that we will be part of that government. Moreover we will bag more seats than the Congress and looking at the present trend, I am confident that the CPI-M will become irrelevant as it won't manage to cross even double digits. We trust the Congress and this party knows what is good for the country. An alliance with the CPI-M is bad for the nation and the Congress is aware of it.
On the other hand both the Congress and the TMC are campaigning together. You will see for yourself when Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee campaign on one plank together. This will make matters clear for sure.