NEW DELHI: All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday came out with a strong rebuttal to senior Congress leader P Chidambaram’s statement that there was no 'concrete’ offer but a mere ‘suggestion’ for a pre-poll alliance on the part of TMC for the Goa assembly elections.
TMC’s national vice president, Pavan K Varma on Thursday responded to P Chidambaram’s statement saying it was far removed from the truth. Varma said he was dismayed and disappointed and that a 'concrete' proposal for an alliance to strengthen the opposition was made to the Congress Party from the TMC's side by none other than him.
“I, in the capacity of TMC’s national vice-president, met him at his Lodhi residence at 1.30 pm on December 24 after seeking proper appointment for the meeting. I offered a proposal to him in person for a pre-poll alliance but he said the matter regarding a pre-poll alliance with TMC for the Goa assembly elections was above him”, Varma said on Thursday.
It needs to be noted that Congress Party has earlier appointed P Chidambaram as the in-charge of Goa polls. Chidambaram, in his statement about the lack of 'concrete' alliance offer from the TMC, also mentioned that the poaching of Congress party members by the TMC in Goa had virtually reduced the possibility of a pre-poll alliance between the parties.
Challenging Chidambaram's statement, Pavan Varma claimed that Chidambaram responded to the offer by saying that taking a decision regarding alliance was far above him.
Varma said that a day after the meeting, Chidambaram told him over the phone also that the final authority to make a decision on the alliance with the TMC for the Goa assembly polls rested with Rahul Gandhi.
Varma said that when he met Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi was not in India. “Upon Rahul Gandhi’s return from aboard, I again spoke with Chidambaram requesting to expedite the process of forming an alliance. But nothing was done to this effect till now. Now, he is saying on national TV that there has been no concrete proposal for alliance from our side. That is simply the untruth.” Varma said.
Varma also said that he was surprised by the manner in which Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader, who has served as Union Finance Minister and Home Minister, was attempting to mislead the people on the issue of an alliance.
“Once the Congress party had agreed for the alliance, all other formalities like seat-sharing and the decision as to who will lead the alliance would have certainly been worked out amicably”, he said.
Varma said an affirmative response on the part of Congress remained awaited by the TMC for the alliance for the Goa assembly polls.
Recently, Varma speaking to TNIE had also denied that TMC was weakening the Congress Party by poaching its members. He had said that the TMC was trying to recreate a real Congress in TMC by providing a strong alternative to the BJP.
Varma had also said to TNIE that the present leadership of the Congress party was not able to take on the BJP by themselves even with a pan-India presence.
Besides this, a Twitter war had been going on between the leaders of the Congress Party and the TMC. Mahua Moitra had said that the Grand Old Party shouldn’t be riding high horse thinking of itself as the ‘Emperor of India’ responding to P Chidambaram's tweet that said, to defeat the BJP, there should be ‘Congress plus others, not others plus Congress”.