Kolkata, Apr 16: With the presidential elections slated for July, Congress party, which did not shrink from criticising the Trinamool Congress in the past on several issues, today sought to keep its ally in good humour, saying the last thing it wants is a vote split in the panchayat polls.
"Congress will make every effort to defeat the CPI(M). If we think that the fight between Congress and Trinamool Congress would strengthen the hands of the CPI(M), we will try to avoid that," chief spokesperson of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Abdul Mannan told PTI.
"This will be the guideline to our partymen in the districts during the panchayat polls," Mannan, who had recently called on Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Pranab Mukherjee to update them on the current state of affairs in Bengal, said. Reminded that Congress MP and Murshidabad DCC president Adhir Chowdhury had declared that his party would contest the panchayat election in Murshidabad district on its own, he said.
"Congress has a strong support base in that district and the TMC is weak there. Trinamool Congress should also reciprocate". Apparently under pressure from Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, the Congress had asked its candidate Mannan to withdraw from the Rajya Sabha elections in West Bengal in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha poll.
Party insiders here said the Congress would need the TMC's help in the upcoming presidential and vice-presidential elections.