INDIA bloc faces setback: Mamata Banerjee refuses to discuss Bengal seat sharing with Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Mamata Banerjee refuses to meet Congress committee for seat-sharing talks in West Bengal ahead of 2024 elections.

Sayantani Biswas
Updated13 Jan 2024, 06:02 AM IST
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee(PTI)

Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has refused to meet the five-member Congress committee to open seat-sharing talks for West Bengal ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, CM Mamata Banerjee offered “two seats” to Congress, which was readily rejected by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

On Thursday, the opposition INDIA bloc landed in a tight spot when TMC signalled that it would not meet the five-member national alliance committee of the Congress that has been holding talks with parties of the INDIA alliance to work out seat adjustments in states, reports Indian Express

The five-member committee of Congress that includes Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel, Mukul Wasnik, Salman Khurshid, and Mohan Prakash, has already held seat-sharing talks with Samajwadi Party (SP), Shiv Sena (UBT), Sharad Pawar faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar.

In West Bengal, TMC's Mamata Banerjee offered the Congress Malda Dakshin and Berhampur seats. Notably, the Congress party already holds these seats in West Bengal. 

West Bengal Congress president Chowdhury has rejected the offer saying the party had won those seats on its own in 2019 fighting against the TMC and the BJP, and that the Congress does not need any “grace or generosity” from Mamata to win those two seats.

Further, CM Mamata Banerjee has reiterated her claim that in case seat-sharing talks fail with the Congress, she could “take the BJP solo" in West Bengal, triggering speculations of a rift in the INDIA bloc. 

The Congress is staking claim for many more seats, including Raiganj, Malda Uttar, Jangipur and Murshidabad.

The TMC has repeatedly rejected negotiations over two seats. 

Meanwhile, West Bengal Communist Party of India (Marxist), which is an INDIA bloc ally of the TMC, has signalled that it will not ally with the Mamata Banerjee-helmed party at the state level. 

A senior TMC leader had told Indian Express that the “Congress got over 30% votes in only two of the 42 seats in Bengal. If the top Congress leadership speaks to Mamata Banerjee directly, maybe she will concede one more seat.”

At this point, so close to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, a pact between the Congress, TMC, and CPI(M) seems absolutely bleak in West Bengal. 

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First Published:13 Jan 2024, 06:02 AM IST
HomePoliticsINDIA bloc faces setback: Mamata Banerjee refuses to discuss Bengal seat sharing with Congress ahead of Lok Sabha polls

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