TMC worried Cong may split votebank

May 3: After the collapse of its alliance with the Congress, the Trinamul Congress has decided to target the former as the B team of the CPI(M) in the run up to the elections for the 81 civic bodies in the state.
Though, while declaring the termination of the a

lliance, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had on Sunday claimed that the Congress’ decision to go alone would not make any difference to her party’s electoral prospects, she knows that even a small division in the anti-Left vote may play havoc.
“In a municipality election, the number of voters in a ward is not very large. In the absence of an alliance, the Congress and the Trinamul Congress will both target the same votebank. The Congress may not win but it can certainly ensure Trinamul Congress’ defeat in many seats,” a state Congress general secretary said.
Ms Banerjee is not underestimating the Congress’ power to play the spoiler. “She has asked her party leaders to impress upon the voters that voting for the Congress would mean strengthening the Left because the Congress has pulled out of the alliance just to help the CPI(M),” a Trinamul Congress MP said.
The Congress is livid with Ms Banerjee for labelling it as the CPI(M)’s agent. “When the Congress helped the Trinamul Congress to increase its tally from one MP to 20 MPs then it was obviously not CPI(M)’s agent. But when it insisted on its right to survive, it became CPI(M)’s dalal. This is a deplorable canard,” Congress legislature party leader Manas Bhuniya said.
He insisted that the Congress’ demand for 51 KMC seats was just and fair. “We tried till the end to preserve the alliance. It was the Trinamul Congress chief whose unilateralism led to its collapse,” he added.
Stung by Ms Banerjee’s belligerent attack, the Congress in retaliation has decided to field over a dozen more candidates for the KMC. Now the number of Congress candidates may cross 100.

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