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Indian party redraws strategy

Publication Date : 24-09-2012


The Trinamul Congress is desperately trying to build bridges with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and redraw its strategy in national politics in the wake of the collapse of its alliance with the Congress, reliable sources said yesterday.

This explains why party chief  Mamata Banerjee gave her green light for not fielding any candidate against the president's son and Congress MLA Abhijit Mukherjee, who is seeking election from the Jangipur Lok Sabha (Lower Parliament) seat vacated by his father.

The Trinamul’s official position on the issue is that since the party supremo had given her word much before the break-up that no party candidate would  be pitted against the president's son as a mark of respect to Mukherjee and his family, she won’t renege on her promise even after the two allies parted company.

But, insiders said, the real reason is to secure help and advice from the president with his enormous political experience and acumen as the Trinamul is determined to take on the Congress and reshape its equations in national politics in the coming months. It calculated that the task would be much easier if the Trinamul enabled his son to win the Lok Sabha poll. 

Banerjee, sources said, is trying to drive a wedge between Congress leaders and the President, taking advantage of the latter's known position on the crucial issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade. At least her main focus in the coming months will be to project before the country how the perception of Mukherjee, when he was Union finance minister, on the FDI issue was in sharp contrast to that of the prime minister and his close aides.

“It was with this intention that our party supremo posted on a social networking site as much detail as possible Mukherjee’s statement on the floor of the Lok Sabha promising that the United Progressive Alliance government would take all the political parties on board before finalising the policy on FDI in multi-brand retail. The prime minister eventually didn’t honour Mukherjee’s commitment,” said a key Trinamul leader.

The Trinamul chief, it was pointed out, is trying to exploit the feeling that Mukherjee has rather been kicked up to become the president by the top Congress establishment to suit the calculations of the Gandhi family.


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