New Delhi, Aug. 10 -- The UPA's maverick ally, Trinamool Congress, sought to dispel suggestions of a rift with the Congress after it boycotted the first meeting of the coalition's coordination committee meeting on Wednesday.
Railway minister Mukul Roy-perceived as the party's second-in command-conveyed to the Congress that Trinamool didn't attend the meeting only because party chief Mamata Banerjee was busy in her state and couldn't make it to the Capital.
"We were properly invited and we accepted the invitation as well. The only problem was that our leader had prior engagements," Roy told HT.
"We have also told the Congress that in the next meeting, Mamata Banerjee will try to be present," Roy added pointing out the importance it attaches to the coordination meeting.
Before demanding for these monthly meetings, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had consulted Banerjee and she too had felt the need for such a mechanism for smooth running of the coalition.
Trinamool insiders, however, also pointed to inter-party complexities for Banerjee not sending any representative for the UPA meet.
Top Trinamool sources said its parliamentary party chief Sudip Bandopadhyay was asked to go, but a few hours before the meeting started, Bandopadhyay was asked to stay back.
"Mukul Roy was not in Delhi and didn't want to send anyone else for the meeting with Sonia Gandhi," a party source said.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Yahoo HT.