In what discredits the prospects of a grand coalition defeating the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, differences between the TMC and the Congress appeared to have surfaced yet again. Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary reportedly took on Mamata Banerjee in the Parliament over the chit fund scam. The Mahagathbandhan has been trying to show its strength time and again but it appears that the Congress and the TMC are unable to reconcile their differences. Mamata Banerjee reportedly got so upset that even the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi was unable to pacify her. An irked Mamata Banerjee said, “We will remember.” This succinct phase has sent across a powerful message. It shows that the TMC supremo is really upset and furious at how the Congress leader attacked her inside the Parliament.
It is important to note here that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also repeatedly attacked Mamata Banerjee during the 2016 election campaign over this issue. At that time Rahul was the party vice-president. At an election rally in Howrah district, he had said, “a government’s job is to provide you with health, education and jobs; this government did not do that. But this government snatched all your money, all your savings through the Saradha chit fund scam.” However, it seems that Rahul Gandhi has made an about turn now. He has stopped attacking Mamata Banerjee even as the Congress is looking to stitch up an opposition with the Mamata Banerjee led TMC.
It is believed by many within the Congress that he was sidelined by the grand old party’s central leadership last year and Chowdhary does not seem to be caring much about the alliance. Blaming Mamata Banerjee, he said, “Several lakhs of people were looted.” This came much to the delight of the BJP legislators as it exposed the chasm between the Congress and the TMC. However, this is not the first time that Chowdhary’s remarks about the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee have suggested that all is not well between the Congress and TMC. Following the political showdown in West Bengal after the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had staged a protest against the CBI, Congress state party president Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary hit out at Mamata for the ongoing crisis in Bengal. He told the media that CBI is only doing its job and following the process of the law. “It is the responsibility of the CBI to complete the investigation and the culprits should be booked and the money of the people looted be returned. CBI went to question the Police Commissioner, it did not go to any politician’s house. He is not from the Congress or TMC, CBI is only following the process of the law.” It must be kept in mind that after Mamata Banerjee had staged a dharna over the said issue, all opposition parties claiming to be part of the grand coalition, including the Congress had supported Mamata Banerjee. At such a time, the Congress state president took a different line. This made it clear that at least at the ground level, there are differences between the two parties. The central leadership appears to be imposing a coalition upon the state unit without caring much for the ground realities. If the central Congress leadership continues this attitude ignoring the opinion of the local leadership in greed of an alliance with the TMC then it will surely face the wrath of the voters in West Bengal in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Even last year, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary had publicly snubbed Mamata Banerjee making it clear that she should not interfere with internal Congress matters and that it is only Rahul Gandhi who has the right to lead an anti-BJP front. The tussle between Mamata Banerjee and Congress had thus come out in the open.