Rahul praises Congress-Left struggle against communalism

New Delhi/Kolkata: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday appreciated the Left Front-Congress' joint struggle in West Bengal against communalism and price hike and said the two parties should work together to gain people's confidence, a senior Congress leader said. The leader of the opposition in the state assembly, Abdul Mannan, who met Gandhi to "seek his advice on running the legislative party", said there was a need for the secular opposition forces to put up a united fight in view of the continuing post-poll violence in the state. "The way the BJP government at the centre is increasing prices and hiking diesel rates, besides colluding with the secessionist forces to dismember the country, the way the communal forces are rearing their heads, to stop them the secular parties have to fight unitedly. "He (Gandhi) agreed. He said (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi has remained silent on the issues of communalism and price rise. "He (Gandhi) appreciated our fight and said the Left and the Congress should fight together. Then only we can win the people's confidence," said Mannan. Refering to the Congress-Left's poor performance in the assembly polls, Mannan said there was a delay in forming the alliance. However, he exuded hope that the movement launched in the state by the Left-Congress against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the centre and the Trinamool Congress regime in the state would earn them the people's trust. He said on the one hand, Modi - during his tours to the state - was severely attacking Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to send out a message to the minorities that she was anti-BJP. On the other hand, Banerjee was forging a secret understanding with the BJP through the RSS. "Mamata is extending support to BJP both in the Lok Sabha and Rayia Sabha and backing its anti-people policies," he added. The Left-Congress alliance finished with a tally of 77 seats in the 294-member Bengal assembly, while the Trinamool retained power with a whopping 211 seats.