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Congress: 'Who else, but Mamatadi?'

March 22, 2011 09:53 IST
So the deal is done. The Congress and the Trinamool Congress have saved their poll alliance, settling for a 65:229 seat-sharing pact for the West Bengal assembly election.

Why did the Congress settle for a much lower number of seats when it had aimed for 90 constituencies?

Rediff.com's Indrani Roy Mitra caught up with West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee Secretary Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury to discuss the TMC-Congress alliance.

What made the Congress give in to the TMC on seat-sharing?

We inked an alliance. The question of giving in does not arise. We and our ally joined hands and decided to walk in tandem to overthrow the Left Front government.

The state Congress initially wanted 90 seats. What made your party change its stance?

In any democratic system, an alliance takes some time to mature. Negotiations over seat-sharing are common. It happened in the past, it will happen in the future. Hence, it would be a mistake for the media to make it an issue.

Ever since the alliance was announced, we have been hearing that many local leaders are annoyed...

We must not forget that the Congress is a national party with a commendable track record. Every important decision about the party, therefore, is taken at the national level.

What happens locally should not be given that much importance.

A decision at the central level is what matters most.

Congress detractors are of the opinion that your party stooped to (Trinamool chief) Mamata Banerjee's demand as it had its back against the wall because of the 2G scam and WikiLeaks revelations.

Such claims are utter rubbish. Ours is a national party with infallible credibility.

What about WikiLeaks?

Journalism has gone crazy these days. Anybody can claim anything.

Where is the proof? No one is guilty until it is proved in a court of law or otherwise. If tomorrow you put some words of your choice in my mouth and publish it without my consent, there can be a flutter, but that won't make those concocted words true.

The same is the case with WikiLeaks. Someone claimed that so and so person bragged about the Congress bribing members of Parliament before the trust vote. This is nothing but an ugly face of yellow journalism.

How confident are you about the Congress-Trinamool alliance in the assembly polls?

The alliance will have a thumping victory. The writing is on the wall. The Congress and Trinamool are two like-minded parties which united to drive out an evil force called the Left.

This unified determination will pay rich dividends like it did in the last Lok Sabha election.

What, according to you, would be the fate of the Left Front after the election?

I feel the Front will disintegrate.

And what would happen to the Communist Party of India-Marxist?

The party will be reduced to a big zero in West Bengal.

What, according to you, ails the Left Front?

Arrogance and misrule have been the features of Left rule in the state. Be it agriculture, industry, education, health and infrastructure, the Left Front government did not do anything.

Once we come to power, we will have to start from scratch.

Who do you see as the next chief minister?

Who else, but Mamatadi? She is the fittest candidate.