‘TMC is pillar of INDIA…’: Congress’ overture as Mamata Banerjee decides to fight Lok Sabha polls ‘alone’

Mamata Banerjee announced that the TMC would fight the Lok Sabha elections 'alone' in West Bengal, hinting at a split in the INDIA bloc. In response to her declaration, Congress' Jairam Ramesh stated that the INDIA bloc cannot be imagined without Mamata Banerjee.

Written By Sayantani Biswas
Updated24 Jan 2024, 02:56 PM IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday declared that her party would fight the Lok Sabha elections ‘alone’ in West Bengal, hinting at a split in the Opposition INDIA bloc. CM Mamata Banerjee's statement drew sharp reactions from several political leaders. Amid the chaos, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the “INDIA bloc can't be imagined with Mamata Banerjee”.

Jairam Ramesh, who is in Assam's Barpeta, along with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, said, “The TMC is a pillar of the INDIA alliance. We cannot imagine the INDIA alliance without Mamata ji.”

Jairam Ramesh said Mamata Banerjee's party is an "important pillar" of the opposition alliance. "Banerjee said that defeating the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls is the prime responsibility of all of us," Ramesh added.

Jairam Ramesh said, “You have not read her full statement. Her full statement is she wants to defeat the BJP and for that, she won't take a step back. With this though, we (Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra) are entering West Bengal. When we are on a long journey, speed breaker comes, red light comes.”

"Red light and speed breaker do not mean that the journey ends. Rahul Gandhi was asked the same question and he said that Mamata Banerjee is a key leader of the INDIA bloc. Mamata ji is also a tall leader of the country, West Bengal, Rahul Gandhi said. We cannot imagine INDIA bloc without Mamata Banerjee," Jairam Ramesh said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asserted that she has not spoken to anyone in the Congress on seat-sharing in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Her comments came a day after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in Assam that seat-sharing talks were underway with the TMC.

"I have not spoken to anyone in the Congress (on seat-sharing)," Mamata Banerjee told reporters before leaving for Purba Bardhaman, where she is scheduled to chair an administrative review meeting.

“Let the Congress fight 300 seats on its own. The regional parties are together, and can contest in the rest. However, we will not tolerate any interference by them (Congress),” she said.

The TMC, Congress, and CPI(M) are part of the 28-party opposition INDIA bloc.

“Sign of desperation”, says BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya

Minutes after TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee announced that she would fight alone in West Bengal without sharing any seat with the INDIA bloc in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) IT cell head Amit Malviya said that it is a sign of desperation.

"Mamata Banerjee's decision to fight alone in West Bengal is a sign of desperation. Unable to hold her political ground, she wants to fight all seats, in the hope that she can still be relevant, after the polls," Malviya said in a post on 'X'.

Malviya said that the West Bengal chief minister wanted to be "the face of the Opposition" but no one had proposed her name.

"Much against her desire, to emerge as the face of the Opposition alliance, no one ever proposed her name. Her several trips to Delhi to build a national profile didn't work," Malviya said.

“The fact that her announcement to go solo comes just before Rahul Gandhi’s circus arrives in Bengal, is a death knell for I.N.D.I Alliance…” Malviya added.

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First Published:24 Jan 2024, 02:56 PM IST
HomePolitics‘TMC is pillar of INDIA…’: Congress’ overture as Mamata Banerjee decides to fight Lok Sabha polls ‘alone’

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