Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Congress versus TMC

Congress and TMC are partners in UPA at centre and have coalition government in West Bengal. The relationship between the two has worsened in recent days. There is talk of Congress aligning with SP after UP elections.

There are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in politics. Congress needs TMC at centre. TMC does not need Congress in West Bengal. Both call each other CPI-M’s B team and compare to watermelon, green outside, red inside.

Mamata Banerjee, leader of TMC, opposed Congress on Teesta River Water Treaty, petrol price hike, FDI in retail. TMC voted for Lokpal Bill in Lok Sabha and opposed it in Rajya Sabha and moved amendments. Dinesh Trivedi said he had opposed Lokpal Bill in cabinet. He was overruled.

The decision to rename Indira Bhavan as Nazrul Bhavan has become another issue. Congress members oppose renaming of Indira Bhavan. In India many buildings, roads, airports and other places are named or renamed after members of Gandhi family. Alexander Dock became Indira Dock. Connaught Circus became Indira Chowk. Rajasthan Canal became Indira Canal. Southernmost point of India was renamed Indira Point. There is Indira Gandhi International Airport. There is Indira Gandhi Open University. There is Indira Awas Yojana.

Congress members say their sentiments are hurt. Their sentiments are not hurt when babies die in hospitals. TMC says there is no notification naming the building as Indira Bhavan. If something can be renamed after Indira Gandhi something named after Indira Gandhi can be renamed something else. If TMC’s intention is to please Muslims it is following in footsteps of Congress which announced 4.5% minority reservation in OBC quota and provided for a minority member in Lokpal.

Some people use words like blackmail regarding TMC. Politics is not charity. TMC has its interests. UPA does not have a co-ordination committee. Congress takes decisions and expects allies to fall in line. DMK is out of power in Tamil Nadu and needs Congress. Other parties do not have many MPs. If Congress breaks alliance with TMC, Congress ministers will be out of West Bengal government and TMC ministers will be out of central government. TMC government will not fall. Congress will need MPs to keep UPA going. Getting SP in UPA to make for numbers will create new problems.

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