Will TMC back BJP if Sushma or Rajnath made PM candidate, Cong asks Mamata

The West Bengal Congress on Tuesday asked the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) to spell out if it would support the BJP after the next Lok Sabha elections.

A clear-cut announcement on part of the TMC was needed as the party has been differentiating between leaders of the BJP, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said, while addressing the foundation day programme of the Chhatra Parishad, the student's wing of Congress in West Bengal.

"We have to defeat the BJP at the Centre and the TMC at the state in the next election. The TMC is talking against the BJP but is not saying clearly whether it will support the BJP in the post-poll scenario," Chowdhury said.

He said, "For the TMC, L K Advani is good but (Narendra) Modi is bad. Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj are good but Amit Shah is bad. We don't believe in such differentiation."

The Congress thinks that the BJP as a whole represents one single ideology which is against the basic ethos of the country and its diversity, Chowdhury said.

"(TMC supremo) Mamata Banerjee should clarify whether her party would support Sushma Swaraj or Rajnath Singh if they are made prime ministerial candidate of the BJP instead of Narendra Modi," he said.

Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi, who was present at the programme, said the party's focus is to strengthen the organisation in the state and assured state leaders that the high command stands by its workers who are being attacked by the ruling TMC in Bengal.

During the programme, infighting in West Bengal Congress unit came out in the open after leaders of party's students' wing exchanged blows with each other in front of senior leaders.

A quarrel broke out between two groups over who would take seat on the dais. Following this, supporters of both groups hurled abuses and clashed with each other, witnesses said.

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