Congress cautious in TMC-CPI(M) battle

Published: 10th April 2013 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2013 08:52 PM   |  A+A-


Apparently mindful of its depleted number in Parliament after DMK's pull out, Congress today treaded cautiously amid the political controversy over yesterday's attack on Mamata Banerjee as its two former allies CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress fought it out in West Bengal.

Terming the attack on Banerjee and her colleagues by SFI activists in Delhi as "extremely unfortunate", I&B Minister Manish Tewari said "whether it is our friends from the Left, or our friends in Trinamool Congress or political parties across the length and breadth of this country, everybody needs to exercise restraint".

"Whatever happened between the Left and the TMC, neither central government nor UPA has anything to do with this. It is a very sad thing. We have already expressed our regret that Sudipto Gupta- an SFI activist - is no more with us," he said.

Asked if there could be difficulty in smooth functioning of Parliament due to the incident, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said "we'll see".

The seccond half of the budget session of Parliament begins on April 22 and the government has to pass a number of crucial bills.

At the AICC briefing, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary said "we have nothing to do with the issue. It's a matter between Left and her,".

She was responding to questions about the violent protests both by CPI-M as well as TMC workers in West Bengal today after the yesterday's attack on Banerjee and her colleagues here.

Party's in-charge for West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed said "two wrongs do not make a right" condemning the violence engaged in "both by the TMC and CPI-M workers" in West Bengal today.

While he said that the death of the SFI Sudipto should be thoroughly probed and the guilty punished, he added " but this cannot be a pretext to adopt violent means in a democracy."

Chowdhary took a jibe at Banerjee for her comments that "Delhi is not a safe place" saying, "It will have to be seen from the perspective of the security benchmarks in West Bengal."

Replying to questions that Banerjee was attacking the central government for the assault on her, she said, "It is unfortunate if she was speaking like that. If she wants to publicise that it happened at the behest of the Congress, this is very regrettable."

She pointed out that even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed regret over it while Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia apologised for it.

Alluding to the criticism that Banerjee ignored advice to come via VIP gate in Planning Commission and took the gate where protest was on, Chowdhary, however, added, "Even an individual has certain responsibilities."

An angry Banerjee had yesterday vented her anger at Minister of State for Planning Rajiv Shukla and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

"You have created a new precedent here. My minister was assaulted. This is scandalous. There were 20 hooligans. Can you stop development of this state like this...Delhi is not safe," she told them after the attack.

She also abruptly cut short her three-day visit here cancelling her appointments with the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.


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