Kolkata, July 6 (IANS) Raising the pitch against ally Trinamool Congress, a leader of the Congress's West Bengal unit said the Mamata Banerjee-led party has become irrelevant in national politics and its support is not needed for the presidential poll.
"(UPA candidate) Pranab-da (Mukherjee) will win the presidential poll with more than 65 percent votes. We don't need them (Trinamool). Whether they support us or not, it doesn't matter. They have become irrelevant in national politics," said party leader Abdul Mannan.
The Trinamool Congress, the second-largest constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is yet to reveal its stand on the presidential poll after its preferred candidate, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, declined to contest.
Banerjee has so far been opposing Mukherjee's bid for the top post. She is said to have told her close circles that she would decide her stand on the poll two or three days before the July 19 voting.
On Thursday, Union Human Resource Devleopment Minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal met the Trinamool chief seeking support for Mukherjee, but his efforts proved futile.
The electoral arithmetic seems to be favouring Mukherjee with all the UPA constituents, except Trinamool, rooting for him. The Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), All India Forward Bloc, the Janata Dal-United and Shiv Sena have also expressed their support.
Mannan also slammed state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee for terming Chidambaram's statement on inter-party clashes in the state as conspiracy to put pressure on the Trinamool in view of the impending presidential election. Subrata Mukherjee also claimed that it was an attempt to give "oxygen" to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
"During the rule of the (CPI-M led) Left Front, Chidambaram had made a similar statement. Then the Trinamool did not say it was meant to give oxygen to it (Trinamool)," Mannan said.
In a virtual snub to the Banerjee government, Chidambaram Thursday noted that inter-party clashes were continuing in the state, adding that a "bullet-for-bullet" scenario had no place in ad emocracy.