New Delhi [India], November 25 (ANI): The long list of leaders leaving the Congress and getting inducted into the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has left the grand old party "unhappy".
From Assam, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC has been roping in Congress leaders and assigning them with key responsibilities. In a recent development, 12 of the 18 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya are set to join the Trinamool, sources said.
This would now make the TMC, the Principal Opposition in Meghalaya causing another huge setback for Congress.
The trouble for Congress started after All India Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev's joined the TMC, earlier this August. Dev who hails from Assam has now been assigned to create a strong foothold for the TMC in Tripura.
Following in Sushmita Dev's footsteps, former Congress MP and son of former President Pranab Mukherjee Abhijeet Mukherjee, former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Lalitesh Tripathi switched political sides to join the TMC's wagon.
Most recently, cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad, his wife Poonam Azad and former Congress leader from Haryana Ashok Tanwar all joined the TMC in Delhi in presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
TMC has given Rajya Sabha seat to Sushmita Dev and Luizinho Falerio.
Previously, TMC had given a jolt to Congress in West Bengal when former Congress MP Mausam Noor and several MLAs and leaders joined the party.
TMC's top brass including party supremo Mamata Banerjee have all been previously members of the Congress. Banerjee had quit the Indian National Congress to form the new party with leaders like the late Ajit Kumar Panja, Subrata Mukherjee and others.
In the current political situation, the induction of Congress leaders into TMC is viewed by senior leadership of Congress as "betrayal with a motive".
Notably, in August this year, Mamata Banerjee had met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and party MP Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. Following the meeting, Banerjee had called for strong Opposition unity to counter the current regime and had also highlighted an important role of Congress in it.
However, the sudden opening of TMC's doors for the Congress leaders have raised eyebrows of the Congress top leadership.
Speaking to ANI, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said, "We are taking up the problems of the common man. We are fighting the anti-people policies of the BJP on the road. At the national level, only the Congress party is opposing the policies of the Centre. If a party is taking leaders from here and there, it does not matter. If some people are under the impression that they can finish off the Congress, then they are mistaken".
"This type of effort has been made in the past also. Our aim is to fight this anti-people and anti-poor government. If you want to fight BJP then fight. What will be achieved by weakening the opposition parties? It does not matter to us. In the end, all this will prove to be drama," added Venugopal.
Leader of the Congress Party in Loksabha and West Bengal PCC chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that there cannot be a national alternative without Congress.
"It is just an example of opportunistic politics. These people thought they will not earn profit here. TMC has brought a lot of money by looting West Bengal and is doing political trade in Delhi. It is the right of every political party to grow but TMC must understand the reality of the day," Chowdhury told ANI.
"Today 63 per cent of people voted against Narendra Modi out of that TMC's share is just 4 per cent and Congress Vote Share is 20 per cent of the total Opposition votes. So, there cannot be a national alternative without Congress," he added.
The Congress MP even alleged that Mamata Banerjee is doing this on the behest of BJP as she has an understanding with the Centre that has developed after the CBI tightened its grip on Abhishek Banerjee.
Asked about Mamata Banerjee's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, Chowdhury said, "She can say anything about the meeting publically but internally she must have got instructions from Prime Minister to how to finish Congress."The cold war between Congress and TMC can be seen as critical for the Opposition battle against the central government especially keeping the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament in mind.
In the last parliamentary session, both the parties had majorly on the same dais in cornering the government on several issues. (ANI)