Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress, for the first time in an open offensive, will hold a political rally against its own ally in Bengal to protest against an alleged Congress-CPI(M) nexus against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Organised by the party's youth wing, the rally is Mamata's first political response to Congress's street-protests against her government in the last few weeks.
Mamata Banerjee dared the Congress on Saturday to leave the alliance in the state. Even though Mamata might give the event a skip, the top brass of the Trinamool leadership including several MPs will be present.
The strain between the Congress and the Trinamool has almost reached a breaking point as the party is not making any efforts to reach out either.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid said, "Everyone has to address their own constituencies and pander to them and therefore, some of these are done as posturing so that you are on the right side of the expectations of your people."
With the Panchayat elections in Bengal just around the corner and with the murmurs of the Congress wanting to go it alone, the Trinamool wants an early advantage. On Monday, Trinamool Congress will organise its first ever public meet to counter Congress's street campaigns ever since the combine came to power in Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress is the second largest partner of the UPA after the Congress. The two parties also share power in West Bengal, although the Trinamool, with over 180 legislators, is not dependent on the Congress to run the government.
But the question still is if Mamata can really do without the Congress. She needs a financial package from the Centre for her cash-strapped state. She cannot afford to split the anti-Left votes before the Panchayat elections. A realignment with the BJP will dent her Muslim support base.
While Mamata Banerjee can dream of a 'Dilli Darbar' as she prepares to launch herself in the national arena by contesting in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur but with barely seven months in power, the political bickering with her ally, perhaps, may become counter-productive.
Faced with this comes the speculation that the Congress is open to the idea of an alternative ally - if Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress do well in the UP elections, then the SP with 22 seats could be a replacement for the Trinamool and it's perhaps this talk which is adding to Mamata's anger.
It is for this reason that the Congress is realising that it needs to strengthen its organisation so that dependance on allies reduces.