Kolkata: The rift between West Bengal's ruling partners took an ugly turn on Saturday with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee thundering at the Congress that it was free to quit the eight-month-old alliance. The Trinamool Congress supremo categorically said that her party had won the state polls last year with a huge margin.

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Banerjee also dubbed the Congress's protest against the state government as an act of vengeance as Trinamool has opposed various policies of the UPA government at the Centre, including FDI in retail and Lokayukta provision in Lokpal bill.

Banerjee said the Congress was perpetrating "a dirty political game" as it is apprehensive of Trinamool fighting in the Uttar Pradesh and Manipur assembly polls.

"The Congress, by colluding with the Marxists, is taking out protests against the state government as Trinamool did not agree with the decision of FDI in retail, Lokayukta provision in Lokpal bill and oil price hike… They have forcefully included the Lokayukta provision we had opposed, but they had not paid any heed to our opposition," said an angry Banerjee.

"If the Congress wants to go with CPI-M they can go, the door is open, but if Congress and CPI-M work together in the state they won't get Trinamool beside them. Trinamool Congress is not a party of thieves and murderers," Banerjee said addressing reporters here.

Banerjee alleged that Congress was "carrying on these planted games" as they were worried of Trinamool fighting in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur polls.

"The Congress is afraid because Trinamool has decided to fight in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur (assembly polls), that is why they are so much worried and are carrying on these planted games. Nobody can undermine us by carrying on such dirty political games," said Banerjee.

Banerjee's angry comments come despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress high command reaching out to settle the issue with Trinamool by offering an olive branch.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed asked the Bengal unit to settle all outstanding issues with the Trinamool Congress.

The Congress-Trinamool ties have remained uneasy since Banerjee joined the UPA after the 2009 Lok Sabha election. She has bitterly opposed and blocked some of the key policies and bills of the UPA government, including the anti-corruption Lokpal bill.

The current provocation for the uneasy ties between the two partners was the West Bengal government's proposal to rename a building named after late prime minister Indira Gandhi. Banerjee wants the Kolkata-based Indira Bhavan - where Indira Gandhi stayed in 1972 - to be named after revered Bangla poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

"If we name something after Nazrul Islam why are they so angry? Why can't we name anything on Maulana Azadji, Ambedkarji and others? A country cannot run like this," said Banerjee.

"Some people are trying to divert attention from the main national issues and that is why they are making hue and cry over small issues. A total interference is going on in the federal structure of the state. Our party members are being killed by Congress and CPI-M," said Banerjee.

Trinamool Congress is a major constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) with 19 members in the Lok Sabha and six in the Rajya Sabha.
It has played a consistent spoiler to major policies of the centre, starting from foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail to the Lokayukta clause in the Lokpal bill.

The Trinamool is running an alliance in the state with the Congress - though it is not dependent on the party, and has repeatedly reminded the Congress leadership in Delhi to follow its dictum or face the consequences.

(Agencies)