Congress reminds Mamata of her past association with the BJP

Kolkata, July 21 (IANS) Slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for alleging that the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party share a parasitic relation in Bengal, state Congress chief Somen Mitra on Sunday reminded the Trinamool Congress chief of her past association with the saffron outfit and said his party would not take lessons from her on strategies to fight the BJP.

"During the Gujarat riots (of 2002 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the western state), she was a BJP Minister. Hence, her present fight against the BJP is looking like an eyewash.

"Since its inception, the Congress has ideologically fought against divisive politics. We don't need to learn the strategy of fighting against the BJP from her," said Mitra, minutes after Banerjee - addressing her party's annual martyrs' day rally - exhorted the state Congress and the CPI-M to take on the saffron outfit which has been aggressively gaining strength in the state.

Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is a former ally of the BJP. She was a member of late prime minister and BJP stalwart A.B. Vajpayee's cabinet.

The veteran Congress leader asked Banerjee to show her democratic intent by returning his party offices, which are now occupied by the Trinamool.

"You (Mamata Banerjee) mentioned that the BJP is occupying Trinamool party offices. I will send you a list of Congress' party offices that have been taken over by the workers of your party since its inception. First, give those offices back and prove your intentions," Mitra said in a statement.

Mitra agreed with Banerjee that the BJP was disrupting the democratic set-up in the Lok Sabha and in the country but wondered how the Chief Minister would justify the undemocratic activities happening in West Bengal.

To buttress his point, Mitra referred to the Home Ministry budget being passed without discussions in the state Assembly.

"It is true that the BJP is making everyone forget democracy but where does democracy disappear when the Home Affairs' budget is sent on guillotine and passed without any discussions in the legislature?" he asked.

--IANS

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