Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal minister Subrata Mukherjee on Tuesday ruled out forming an alliance with the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported. Mukherjee, however, said the party would keep all post-poll options open.

Mukherjee said his party’s current aim is to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. “We will fight it alone,” he added. “After the Lok Sabha results are announced we will decide our next course of action after discussing with everybody.”

The ties between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress have been strained in recent years. The two parties had joined forces for the 2001 West Bengal Assembly polls, the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and the 2011 Assembly polls. In 2012, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee severed ties with the Congress in the state but remained part of the United Progressive Alliance at the Centre.

In July, Banerjee announced that her party would contest all 42 seats for the Lok Sabha elections alone.

The Congress has also kept its distance from the Banerjee-led party. “Did we ask them [TMC] to ally with us?” asked Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Abdul Mannan. “We want to fight alone in Bengal. Aligning with the TMC has always been a disaster. It is the TMC which has tried to wipe out the Congress from West Bengal.”

While the Trinamool Congress has participated in several Opposition party meetings, it has also been vocal against the possibility of Congress Rahul Gandhi being projected as the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.