BJP is fighting polls to help TMC in Bengal, says Congress leader Sachin Pilot

              Pilot also refuted allegations levelled by BJP President Amit Shah that Congress and the Left were pursuing opportunistic politics.. Rajasthan Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot. (File)

TWO DAYS before South Kolkata goes to polls, former Union minister and Congress leader Sachin Pilot claimed on Thursday that BJP was fighting the Assembly elections to help the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.

Maintaining that Trinamool and BJP have a secret understanding, Pilot said: “The BJP and Trinamool have a tacit understanding… We can see that both inside and outside Parliament. Whether it is Narada or Saradha, the investigation is progressing very slowly to help Trinamool. And Trinamool, in return, is helping BJP in the Parliament (by supporting its Bills).”

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Pilot was addressing a rally in Kolkata to wrap up Congress’ campaign for the fifth phase of the state Assembly elections.

“BJP is fighting elections to help Trinamool in Bengal. They are campaigning just to split anti-Trinamool votes so that the votes do not get consolidated towards the Congress-Left alliance. The BJP doesn’t have any stake in Bengal, still they are fighting elections only to help Trinamool,” he claimed.

Later, when asked by mediapersons about BJP national president Amit Shah’s allegations that Congress and Left were pursuing opportunistic politics, Pilot said: “This is baseless. We have forged a seat-sharing adjustment against the undemocratic Trinamool… To stop them, we are taking all necessary steps.”

“But while BJP and Shiv Sena have a formal alliance, why is BJP tolerating the criticism of Shiv Sena everyday? Why aren’t they throwing Sena out of NDA?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Pilot’s statement regarding the alleged tacit understanding is one of the many similar ones made by both Congress and Left leaders over the last one month. On Wednesday, while sharing stage in Kolkata, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and CPM veteran leader and former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had also spoken of the “hidden nexus” between Trinamool and BJP.

However, with BJP taking on Trinamool on issues like Saradha chit fund and Narada sting operation scams, senior Congress leaders claimed that it was a “tactic” being used by the party to polarise voters.

“The BJP has done this in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well. Its strategy is to polarise voters — its message to the people is that those who do not like Modi should vote for Trinamool and those who do not like Mamata, should vote for BJP. The appearance the BJP has created is of a so-called alternative to the Trinamool government… created an image of a viable Opposition to trap anti-incumbency and anti-Mamata votes while both parties have a tacit understanding between them,” said state Congress leader O P Mishra.

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