Rahul Gandhi's overtures to the Left on Wednesday irked Congress' West Bengal ally Trinamool Congress which opposed any post-poll tie up between the two estranged partners amid reported threats by its chief Mamata Banerjee to quit the United Progressive Alliance in such a eventuality.
Sensing TC's discomfort over the All India Congress Committe general secretary's remarks on Tuesday on getting Left support, the Congress quickly rushed to mollify a hurt TC saying their alliance was "very precious" and it will not do anything to "undermine" their ties.
Mamata maintained a stoic silence on Wednesday refusing to comment on her reported remarks that if the Congress took Left support to form a government, her party could walk out of UPA. "I am telling you I will not comment," she told PTI when asked to respond to her reported remarks that " if the Congress joins hands with the Communist Party of India-M or the Left after the polls, we cannot continue to be with them. There is no question of co-existence for us and the CPM."
But senior Trinamool leader Partho Chatterjee made it clear in Kolkata his party was opposed to any alliance at the Centre which includes the CPM and that Rahul's attempt to reach out to the Left was untimely. "This is a very untimely comment made by the Congress leader when we are fighting the battle jointly against the CPM in the last lap of elections in West Bengal," he said. In New Delhi, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said, "we have a very precious alliance with Mamata Banerjee's party and it is permanent. We will not take even a single step forward to subvert the agreement with Trinamool Congress. We will not at any cost undermine this agreement (Congress-TC alliance). This trust will continue between us."
In Kolkata, Mamata refused to respond to attempts by Rahul to woo the Left. "I won't make any comment on what Rahul Gandhi has said," was the firebrand leader's reply when asked to respond to his remarks that the Congress looked forward to working with the Left parties in the post-poll scenario, while expressing confidence that the communists would accept
Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister in a Congress-led government.
Trinamool's Partho Chatterjee said, "the assessment by the Congress leader(Rahul) about the Left will jeopardise the strength of the Congress-Trinamool alliance in the state." Another TC leader Dinesh Trivedi said there is no need for the Congress to take Left support. "But as far as we are concerned we will never ever be going to go anywhere near (the Left) because they are undemocratic. They are anti-national as well," Trivedi said."We will be doing a disservice to the nation if we associate with the CPI-M who do not believe in democracy," he added.