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Business News/ Elections / Mamata Banerjee says ‘no relation with Congress’, TMC to fight Lok Sabha polls ‘alone’ in Bengal

Mamata Banerjee says ‘no relation with Congress’, TMC to fight Lok Sabha polls ‘alone’ in Bengal

The INDIA bloc suffered a huge setback on Wednesday as Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said her party would contest Lok Sabha polls without any alliance in West Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee says she hasn’t spoken to anyone in the Congress on seat-sharing in Bengal for Lok Sabha polls.Premium
Mamata Banerjee says she hasn’t spoken to anyone in the Congress on seat-sharing in Bengal for Lok Sabha polls.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday declared that the TMC would not form an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, a day ahead of Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra's scheduled entry into the state. 

CM Mamata Banerjee said the TMC would fight ‘alone’ in West Bengal against the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held between April and May this year. 

"I had no discussions with the Congress party. I have always said that in Bengal, we will fight alone. I am not concerned about what will be done in the country but we are a secular party and in Bengal, we alone will defeat the BJP," the TMC supremo said.

The Bengal chief minister also claimed that she had not been informed of Rahul Gandhi's Nyay Yatra passing through Bengal, contrary to claims by the Congress that the party had invited INDIA bloc allies to join the Yatra.

"They did not even bother to inform me that they would be coming to West Bengal as a matter of courtesy even though I am a part of the INDIA bloc. So there is no relation with me as far as Bengal is concerned," Mamata Banerjee said.

"We will decide on what to do at the all-India level. We are a secular party. We will do whatever we can to defeat the BJP. The alliance does not comprise any one party. We have said that they should fight in some states and the regional parties should be left to fight alone in the other states. They should not interfere," she added.

The breakdown in the Trinamool Congress and the Congress came after state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury continued his attack on the Bengal chief minister.

In a news conference on Tuesday Adhir Chowdhury claimed that in the 2011 elections, Mamata Banerjee came to power with the mercy of the Congress party.

"This time, the elections will not be fought at the mercy of Mamata Banerjee. The Congress defeated the BJP and the TMC in the two seats that Mamata Banerjee is leaving. The Congress party knows how to contest the elections. Mamata Banerjee is an opportunist; she came to power in 2011, with the mercy of the Congress," the Congress MP said.

Rahul Gandhi, who is in Assam as part of his Nyay Yatra, tried to quell the damage done by the state unit chief's repeated attacks by insisting that he had a good relationship with the TMC supremo.

"The negotiations on seat-sharing are underway, I don't want to comment here. But Mamata Banerjee is very close to me and our party. Sometimes our leaders say something, their leaders say something, and it goes on. It's a natural thing. Such comments won't matter and these are not things that are going to disrupt things," Rahul Gandhi had said on Tuesday.

The Trinamool Congress reportedly was willing to offer the Congress a maximum of three Lok Sabha seats of the 42 seats in Bengal. In the 2019 elections, the Congress had won two Lok Sabha seats while the TMC had won 22 seats.

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Published: 24 Jan 2024, 12:46 PM IST
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