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Business News/ Politics / Lok Sabha elections: Mamata Banerjee hits out at Congress, says Nyay Yatra 'strategy to gain Muslim vote’
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Lok Sabha elections: Mamata Banerjee hits out at Congress, says Nyay Yatra 'strategy to gain Muslim vote’

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenges the Congress, doubts whether they will secure even 40 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with TMC MP Shatrughan Sinha during a dharna in Kolkata on February 2 demanding the state's dues from the Centre for various social welfare schemes. (PTI)Premium
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with TMC MP Shatrughan Sinha during a dharna in Kolkata on February 2 demanding the state's dues from the Centre for various social welfare schemes. (PTI)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on February 2, taking a dig at the Congress and posing a challenge to the party said she has doubts whether the grand-old party will secure "even 40 seats" in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Mamata Banerjee while charging at Congress mentioned that Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra was merely party's strategy to gain Muslim vote. She said, "I proposed that Congress contest 300 seats (across the country where BJP is the main opposition), but they refused to heed. Now, they've arrived in the state to stir up Muslim voters. I doubt whether they will secure even 40 seats if they contested 300," reported PTI.

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Congress’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra received immense criticism from West Bengal CM. This yatra led by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi traversed through Bengal's six districts. Mamata Banerjee compared this venture to a "mere photo opportunity" for "migratory birds" in the state.

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The CM demanded the clearance of the state's dues by the Centre while speaking during a dharna in the state. She emphasised that her party was willing to form an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal. However, she highlighted that her offer was declined by the grand-old party.

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The TMC chief was steadfast in her refusal to allocate seats and stated, "We were open to an alliance, offering them two seats which they rejected. Now let them contest in all the 42 seats alone. Since then, there has been no dialogue between us," reported PTI.

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Congress's yatra through six districts of North Bengal which are known for their significant minority population and traditional Congress support, might have triggered the CM's shift in stance, according to media sources. Congress' support is widespread especially in the districts of Uttar Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad. CM Mamata Banerjee had earlier declared her party's intention to contest alone, remained steadfast in her refusal to allocate seats.

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The TMC chief while giving outright challenge to the Congress to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh said, "If you have the courage, defeat the BJP in UP, Banaras, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Where were you (Congress) when Manipur was burning? We had sent a team," reported PTI.

Banerjee while stating that the Congress did not inform her about the yatra, she said, "Despite being an alliance partner of INDIA, they did not inform me. I got to know through administrative sources. They had called Derek O'Brien to request that the rally be allowed to pass through. Why come to Bengal then?" 

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 03 Feb 2024, 08:55 AM IST
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