Kolkata: Miffed over the entry of her three fierce critics, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Deepa Dasmunsi and A H Khan Chowdhury, into the new team of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is gearing up to hit back at the Congress in a similar fashion. She may induct some rebel Congress MLAs into her cabinet.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) sources said that Mamata is considering giving ministerial berth to Congress MLA frOm Englishbazar Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury who shares worsening personal relationships with the district Congress committee’s president, A H Khan Chowdhury.
If Krishnendu joins the TMC, he will be made minister in the WB government. At the same time, Krishnendu will have to face the anti-defection law. To avoid it, he may contest by-election from Englishbazar after quitting the Congress.
Krishnendu is likely to meet Mamata at Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday after which he is expected to announce his decision to quit the Congress.
Speculations are also rife over the induction of Etahar MLA Amal Bhattacharya into Mamata government. Bhattacharya has been one time staunch supporter of Congress veteran Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi in Raiganj.
Bhattacharya left the Congress and joined the TMC which fielded him from Etahar seat. Being a TMC minister Bhattacharya may challenge the growing stature of Deepa who was inducted into the Union cabinet as MoS for Culture.
Given the terse condition between the Congress and TMC in the state, the fact cannot be denied that the reshuffle will add more heat to the worsening relations between both the parties.
Trinamool suffering from "political fear psychosis": Congress
Congress and its former ally Trinamool Congress clashed over induction of three ministers from West Bengal in the Union Cabinet reshuffle with the Mamata Banerjee's party's response being dubbed as a sign of "political fear-psychosis".
As the war of words broke, the new Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury--one of the three Congress MPs from West Bengal to be made ministers--challenged ruling TMC to find a single criminal case pending against him, saying he would quit if any case was found.
Congress rejected the TMC contention that the three Mamata baiters were inducted into the Union Cabinet only to "needle" the party and described it as a sign of "political fear-psychosis".
"Congress never humiliates any political party or leader. Congress is for positivity, development and growth. The leaders who are making such comments are suffering from political fear-psychosis."
"We can make it clear that the Centre would continue to assist the state government for growth and development," a senior WBPCC leader and a former state irrrigation minister Manas Bhuniya said in Kolkata.
TMC said yesterday that Adhir and Deepa Dasmunshi, known Mamata baiters, were inducted as ministers only to 'needle' the party. A H Khan Chowdhury was the third MP from West Bengal to be made a minister.
"Right now I am challenging them (TMC). Even if a single case is found, even if they find that a single criminal case is pending against me, I will resign from the post that has been given to me right now. I am challenging the TMC," Adhir said in Delhi.
He threw the challenge when asked about allegations made by TMC that there are cases against him. Adhir also said the working of the Railways has deteriorated in the past. Mamata had held the Railways portfolio before. Bhuniya attacked TMC for not showing any courtesy to the three new ministers from West Bengal.
"We expected minimum courtesy from them. But they showed no courtesy at all," Bhuniya said.
He said the reaction expressed by seasoned and experienced leaders of TMC was "shocking".