Calcutta, Dec. 24: The Congress today warned party leaders against "clandestine tie-ups with Trinamul" for the panchayat polls.
The directive was issued to district party functionaries at a specially convened general body meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee this morning under the stewardship of the AICC's Bengal in-charge, Shakeel Ahmed.
The three junior central ministers ' Deepa Das Munshi, Adhir Chowdhury and Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury ' were present at the two-hour session at Netaji Subhas Institute in Sealdah.
"Like the CPM, the Trinamul Congress is our political adversary in Bengal. Given Mamataji's (chief minister Mamata Banerjee) regular criticism of the Centre, we will not accept any sort of clandestine tie-up with Trinamul for the rural polls," Shakeel said.
"Those involved in working out secret poll deals with Trinamul in violation of the party's diktat will be firmly dealt with," he added.
Shakeel's directive comes following reports that in the 2008 panchayat polls, many Congress activists at the grassroot level had formed local-level alliances with Trinamul although there was no official understanding between the two parties.
State Congress chief spokesperson Abdul Mannan admitted that the party had worked out an unofficial poll understanding with Trinamul in many seats "in our desperation to ensure the CPM's defeat".
"But things have changed now. Trinamul has let loose a reign of terror on our activists. So those involved in working out secret poll deals with Trinamul should be thrown out of the party," he said.
A Trinamul leader said: "After Mamatadi publicly declared on July 21 that Trinamul would contest the rural polls on its own, the question of a tie-up with the Congress, clandestine or official, does not arise."