The TMC hit out at Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday for attributing the failure to forge an alliance for the Goa assembly polls to "poaching", calling his remark an attempt to give excuses for the main opposition party's "inexplicable and damaging inability" to respond to a mature and courageous call for greater opposition unity.
The TMC leadership also asked the veteran Congress leader to look at his own party's "inability and failure" to keep its flock together.
"Mr Chidambaram is clutching at straws to explain somehow his party's inexplicable and damaging inability to respond to TMC's mature and courageous call for greater opposition unity. First, he said that there was no concrete response, he is now saying something different after he was countered. He should stop giving such excuses," TMC national vice-president Pavan Varma told PTI.
Varma was responding to Chidambaram's comment on Sunday that the TMC's proposal of a pre-poll alliance for the next month's Goa assembly elections was not considered as Congress leaders were "poached" by Mamata Banerjee's party in the state.
Last week, Varma had said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had reached out to Congress president Sonia Gandhi with an offer for an alliance in Goa but failed to elicit a positive response.
Varma said he had also met Chidambaram in New Delhi on December 24 with an alliance proposal.
Echoing Varma, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the Congress should stop blaming others if its own leaders lose confidence in their leadership.
"If Congress leaders don't have confidence in their leadership and are deserting the party, then they should first fix their problems before blaming others. At least the leaders in Goa have joined TMC, another anti-BJP platform, instead of joining BJP, unlike what happened in states like Madhya Pradesh," he told PTI.
The TMC, he insisted, has never spoken about keeping Congress out of an anti-BJP opposition alliance.
"In 2017, despite being the largest party, Congress failed to form the government in Goa. So it indeed failed to put up a fight against the BJP. We intended to wake it up from deep slumber," he said, explaining the reason for the recent attacks by TMC leaders against the Congress.
The relationship between the Congress and TMC had hit an all-time low in 2021, when the latter attacked the grand old party over its alleged failure to fight against the BJP, calling it an "incapable and incompetent" party that has gone into a "deep freezer".
Also, in a deviation from the past, the TMC decided against engaging in any form of floor coordination with the Congress during the winter session of Parliament.
According to sources in the Congress, the party is not keen on having an alliance with the TMC in Goa as it is confident of a victory on its own.