West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) hit back at Congress saying the grand old party "cannot take them for granted". Dampening the united opposition probability, TMC gave the Opposition protest on the Adani issue a miss on Wednesday. The latest reaction by the TMC widened the rift between TMC and Congress which is certainly a setback for those who are hoping to form a united opposition to fight the mighty BJP.
TMC sources said that the leadership is upset over the comments of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, on TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
On Wednesday, the TMC did not sign a joint opposition letter sent to the Director of Enforcement Directorate, SK Mishra, urging the probe agency to initiate an investigation into the Adani Group over allegations of corrupt practices, including money laundering through shell companies. It also did not participate in the Opposition march to the ED office.
"The Congress cannot take us for granted. On one hand its senior leader is alleging that there is a Mamata-Modi-Adani link, on the other it is expecting us to stand with them. The person who made the remarks is not a nobody, he is the sitting leader of the party in the House," a senior TMC leader said.
While the TMC did not name the Congress leader, Chowdhury had made statements against Banerjee during the recent byelection in Sagardighi in West Bengal where the Congress won, handing out a shock defeat to the ruling party.
Another leader said that the TMC is aware of the strain that the differences of opinion between the two largest opposition parties are putting on the Opposition unity and the negative optics it has created.
"We are in touch with other non-Congress political parties. We have kept other like-minded parties in the loop," he said.
The party has reached out to most opposition parties like AAP, CPIM, Shiv Sena and southern parties, informing them of the decision to not be a signatory to the letter to the ED and not be part of the protest march, sources said.
They also said that it has also conveyed its stand to Congress and the need to "restrain" Chowdhury.
The sources said that even within the Congress, except for the leaders from West Bengal, those from other parts of the country are uneasy with his recent remarks.
"This shows the way the Congress party is looking at Opposition unity. The leader of party in Lok Sabha has made the statement. The Congress has to decide if you are going to be a like-minded party and work with us or not," a senior TMC leader said.
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