Somen echoes Mamata

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By SATTAM GHOSE AND BARUN GHOSH in Calcutta
  • Published 25.06.05
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Calcutta, June 25: Congress leader Somen Mitra today said the party’s relationship with the CPM at the national level has eroded its support base in Bengal.

Mitra’s views, which came in the backdrop of the reverses faced by the Congress in the just-concluded elections to the Calcutta and Bidhannagar municipalities, were echoed by other party leaders such as working president Pradip Bhattacharya and Rajya Sabha member Jayanta Bhattacharya.

The comments vindicated Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee, who has been harping about the “disastrous effects” of the relationship between the CPM and the Congress on the state’s political scenario.

“People no longer trust us because of our party’s stand vis-?-vis the CPM. They are not bothered about our party’s political compulsion in Delhi. This has started affecting our vote-bank both in the urban and rural areas,” Mitra told The Telegraph this afternoon.

Former Union leader Tapan Sikdar agreed with the Congress leader. “Mamata is definitely a real anti-CPM force and we have no problem if she takes the lead in uniting all those opposed to the communists,” said the BJP leader.

Mamata, when contacted, reiterated her resolve to form a common political platform with “genuine anti-CPM forces” before the Assembly polls. “Our prime concern is to drive out the Marxists from the seat of power,” she said.

The central leadership of the Congress has expressed its intention to resolve the problem. “We know that the Bengal and Kerala leaders are facing this problem because of the party’s political compulsion at the national level. We intend to sit with them to sort out the matter,” a Congress leader said over phone from Delhi.

Mitra underscored the need for a dialogue with the central leadership to clear the misconception among Congress workers and the people. “If the problem is not immediately addressed, it will be aggravated at the time of Assembly polls next year.”

Congress MP Jayanta Bhattacharya felt it is high time the party reviewed its stand on the CPM.