New Delhi: Under fresh attack from Mamata Banerjee on FDI in multi-brand retail, Congress on Monday advised her to "evolve from a street fighter to a statesman" pointing to 'divergence' in Trinamool Congress' stand.

"There comes a time in the life of every political party and politician when you have to evolve from an agitator to an administrator...from a street fighter to a statesman. These are personal decisions and a matter of self introspection. We want to leave to her only this very small suggestion," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

Tewari caveated his response by saying Congress has "great personal regard" for the West Bengal Chief Minister and the political struggle she had waged.

The Congress spokesperson was reacting to a volley of questions on Banerjee's agitation against FDI in retail and price rise in the national capital during which she also indicated that her party may bring a 'no- confidence motion' against it in the next session of parliament.

She also appealed to various political parties to support it. At a protest rally at Jantar Mantar here, which was attended by NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, Banerjee launched an all-out attack on the Congress-led UPA government.

The Congress spokesperson, however, made light of her opposition to FDI and the hike in diesel prices alleging the West Bengal Chief Minister makes one statement in Delhi and says something else in Kolkta.

"She (Banerjee)is opposing FDI and diesel hike in New Delhi but in West Bengal it is her government which had increased the power tariff," Tewari said. Tewari also downplayed the presence of JD-U president and NDA convener Sharad Yadav at Mamata Banerjee's protest venue.

"But then he had also shared the dais with Anna Hazare," he said, adding that, "We respect Sharad Yadav".

The Congress spokesperson appeared to be dismissing any political significance of Yadav joining hands with Banerjee on the issue.

Sources in the JD-U camp, however, say that Banerjee was keen to organise such meetings in other states also and had sought the cooperation of Yadav.

They said that Yadav is likely to join Banerjee in similar agitation programmes in Lucknow and his hometown Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

The sources said Banerjee's party was keen that the JD-U President attends her programme. Trinamool leaders Sultan Ahmed, Kalyan Banerjee and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy were said to be in touch with Yadav on the issue for last few days.

The JD-U president was initially in two minds about being seen close to Banerjee as Yadav did not want to antagonise the Left parties with whom he share good relations.

Despite being in the NDA, Yadav had in past managed to bring the Left on board for common agitation programmes on fuel prices hike.


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