No tie-up with Trinamool: Jairam Ramesh

Kolkata, Oct 1 (IANS) Congress leader Jairam Ramesh taunted West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress Tuesday and said his party can never join hands with it as it secured its victory in a recent Howrah Lok Sabha by-election after "entering into an understanding with the BJP", resulting in the latter withdrawing from the poll.

"We cannot align with a political party which ensures the withdrawal of the BJP candidate by entering into an understanding with the BJP, and wins a seat," Ramesh said at the Bidhan Bhavan state Congress headquarters.

Speaking to media persons here, Ramesh alleged the Trinamool has never given clear signals that it would never go with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

"Communal force is not only the one which is associated with the RSS. Communal force is also the one which meets BJP leaders, forms an understanding, and never gives clear-cut signal that they will never go with the BJP or the RSS," he said.

In the June by-election, Trinamool candidate and former international footballer Prasun Banerjee defeated Communist Party of India-Marxist candidate Sridip Bhattacharya.

The BJP opted out of the race after naming its former state president Asim Ghosh as the party candidate.

The Left and the Congress alleged that the BJP called it quits after secret parleys with the Trinamool.

He also claimed the Trinamool Congress' public posture on the new land acquisition legislation was vastly different from its private posture.

Regretting that the Trinamool was the only party that opposed the Land Acquisition Act in parliament, Ramesh said several of the provisions in the legislation were included as per the advice of Trinamool leaders.

"The provisions that the acquired land will be returned to the land bank if it was left unused for five years, and compensation of sharecroppers, were introduced according to the Trinamool's advice."

He said the bill was introduced in parliament with the Trinamool's support. "Unfortunately, in parliament the public posture of the Trinamool was different from its private posture," he said.

The minister said land acquisition was central to West Bengal politics.

"Singur made Mamata. Mamata did not make Singur...Our experiences with Singur and Nadigram influenced the draft of the new act," the union minister of rural development said.

BJP President Rajnath Singh denied his party had entered into a clandestine understanding with the Trinamool ahead of the Howrah by-polls. "It is the Congress which believes in tacit understanding, we don't believe in it. Whatever we do, we do it publicly," he said.

Describing the RSS as a socio-cultural organisation, Rajnath said: "It is not a political party. It is the biggest voluntary organisation of the world."

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