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Mamata's call for 'grand alliance' suffers jolt
December 18, 2005 19:19 IST
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's call to form a 'grand anti-Communist Party of India-Marxixt alliance' for the coming assembly elections in West Bengal on Sunday suffered a serious setback with state Congress President Pranab Mukherjee declining her invitation to share the dais with Bharatiya Janata Party President L K Advani at a TC youth convention in Kolkata on Monday.
Mukherjee, also the Defence Minister, said, "Congress cannot share a platform with the BJP. It is not possible. We
Referring to BJP, he said, "It is a recognised political party. In Parliament we have to talk with the opposition also
Earlier, during the day, on his arrival in Kolkata Advani told reporters "Mamtaji invited me to attend the TYC convention while she was in Delhi and I will attend the meeting on Monday."
Advani declined comment on the 'grand alliance' proposal comprising TC, BJP and Congress, saying, "Whatever I have to say, I will say at the TYC convention." Advani said that he was looking forward to the formation of a 'true government' by the people after the 2006 assembly elections.
He said people in the state had a chance to elect a 'real government' of their choice in the next election which
"I have given a call to all anti-CPI-M parties to unite to prevent division in opposition votes to oust the ruling Left Front," she said.