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Why the decision wasn't an easy one for Trinamool

Last updated on: September 19, 2012 03:10 IST

Why the decision wasn't an easy one for Trinamool

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Indrani Roy Mitra

Goes without saying that the meeting to decide if Trinamool Congress should stay in the United Progressive Alliance or pull the plug, was a crucial one.

And party chief Mamata Banerjee ensured that not a single tip-off oozed out of the closed door marathon meet held at Town Hall in central Kolkata. Hence, mobile handsets of each and every participant were mandatorily switched off as a precautionary measure.

Though senior TMC leader Saugata Roy, Union Minister of State for Urban Development, told the media afterwards that 'the decision to withdraw support was a unanimous one', our sources in the party had a different tale to tale.

"There were quite a few voices of dissent," the source told rediff.com.

The first to oppose Banerjee's proposal to come out was Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Kunal Ghosh.

He categorically told the TMC chief that 'ditching the UPA government at this juncture will be a serious political mistake' and that 'it should be avoided at any cost'.

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"It is possible that Ghosh, who is also the group media chief of Saradha Media and executive editor of Sangbad Pratidin, was desperate to retain his Parliament membership, as it helped to accentuate his career in the media" the source conjectured.

The next to question Banerjee's stand was (Saugata Roy) himself, who said that walking out of the UPA could be disastrous for the party.

"As we all know, the Trinamool Congress is a one-woman party. It is led by someone who never pays any heed to any voice of reason," the source told rediff.com.

However, Banerjee's move to quit found a great support in Sudip Bandyopadhyay, chief spokesperson of the TMC in Lok Sabha.

"Bandyopadhyay had readied his resignation even before the meeting started and handed it over to Banerjee before she came out of the conference room to address the meeting," the source said.

Following his instance, (Saugata) Roy too hurriedly dashed off his letter and handed it over to Didi.

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Asked why it took three long hours for the meeting to finish, the TMC insider said, "There was faint ray of hope that either Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Congress president Sonia Gandhi would make that 'friendly' phone call; perhaps a fax or email would arrive. But no such attempt at rapprochement being visible, Banerjee had no other option but to make the final announcement."

"It was not an easy decision to take," the source added.

But what motivated Didi to take such a harsh step?

Political analysts are of the opinion that the Panchayat election in West Bengal is in the offing and Didi could not help making the most of this situation to mend her image. (Remember Didi said her ministers will resign on Friday, the day of jumma or Friday prayer assembly).

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One should not forget that Banerjee's high handedness as an administrator and her intolerance towards criticism of any kind has not gone down well with the people of Bengal in recent times.

Therefore, did she leave the government to better her position at the state level? And for this, she could not have asked for better tools to oppose than foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and a steep hike in diesel price.

We have to wait for almost 72 hours now till TMC ministers put in their papers.

Several negotiations will go on during this interim period.

Though Banerjee's doing a U-turn seems a remote possibility, some analysts as well as the Left Front are being sceptical.

An echo of their doubt could be heard in our TMC source's voice as well: "In politics, nothing is done unless it is done. We can't be too sure of this government's future unless and until the TMC actually moves out of the UPA."

We can't but agree!




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