Senior Congress leader and Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that the Congress is yet to decide whether to join the government if the Congress-Trinamul Congress alliance gets majority after the Assembly polls.
“The call on whether to join or not will be taken by the Congress leadership after the alliance comes to power,” Mr Mukherjee said while releasing the Congress poll manifesto.
In the manifesto, the Congress has promised compensation at market prices to the those who have lost land to industries.
Giving a warning to disgruntled Congress leaders who want to contest the Assembly elections against candidates fielded by the Congress-Trinamul Congress alliance, the finance minister made it clear that those who defy the party’s decision would be expelled from the Congress for six years.
On being asked about the party’s stand on the decision of some Congress leaders to contest the state Assembly polls as Independent candidates with the support and blessings of some senior state Congress leaders, Mr Mukherjee said: “If somebody goes against party discipline and fields someone or contests himself of herself as a candidate against the party nominee or candidate of the alliance, he or she will face expulsion from the party for six years as per the constitution of the Congress party. The president of the state Congress has the power to expel anybody in this ground and he will do it.”
Giving his own example, he added: “I was number two in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet but did not get ticket in 1989 elections. So it is not a very big thing.”
TC, Cong to launch joint campaign
Trinamul Congress and Congress will launch a joint campaign for the coming West Bengal Assembly polls with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spearheading the attack against the ruling Left Front.
The decision was taken on Sunday at a meeting between Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee. After the 30-minute meeting, Ms Banerjee told reporters that both the alliance partners agreed to hold the joint election campaign.
‘Oppn attack on Left policies baseless’
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said on Sunday that Trinamul Congress and Congress are opposing the Left Front’s policies irrespective of their merit just to dislodge the ruling front from power.
The Congress-led UPA government at the Centre too is extending support to the Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for her support, to get all its anti-people policies in banking, insurance, pension and textile sectors passed, Mr Bhattacharjee alleged at an election meeting. Asian Age