Mamata Banerjee rules out any alliance in West Bengal, set back to congress

Trinamul Congress to go alone in West Bengal in the general election

Team Parvasi – Inside

Mamata Banerjee rules out any alliance in West Bengal, set back to congress
New Delhi: In a much-anticipated move that will deal a massive blow to the INDIA bloc ahead of the general election, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called off the coalition’s seat-sharing talks in West Bengal and declared that she would go it alone in the state.

The declaration came hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi dismissed reports of tension in the INDIA alliance in Bengal and also state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s accusations that Mamata is an opportunist.

“My party and I are very close to Mamata ji. Talks are going on smoothly and there will be an outcome soon. These comments are routine. Sometimes their leaders say something, sometimes ours do that,” Gandhi said on Tuesday.

Mamata was not impressed. On Wednesday morning, she said she had no idea that Rahul’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra was going to pass through Bengal. She said she would contest alone in Bengal and defeat the BJP.

“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 will alone defeat the BJP. I am a part of the INDIA alliance. Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra is passing through our state but we have not been informed about it,” she said.

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Mamata is not willing to cede more than two of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal to the Congress though the Congress is asking for six.

The TMC is also not willing to work with the CPM, with Mamata declaring that her 34-year-old politics has been anti-Left. In fact, Mamata had quit the Congress to form the TMC precisely to protest against the Congress diffidence in respect to the then ruling Left which was targeting Congress workers.

Mamata said her proposal to the Congress to contest 300 Lok Sabha seats out of 543 and leave the rest to regional parties was not accepted.

“We have had no seat-sharing talks with the Congress and will fight alone,” she said, adding that the regional parties were together in the INDIA bloc. Mamata’s snub to the Congress could further weaken the grand old party’s bargaining hold in other states like Punjab and Delhi where the Congress and AAP are engaged in hectic seat-sharing negotiations as part of the INDIA alliance.

Mamata feels the Congress needs to accord due importance to regional players in seat-sharing discussions if defeating the BJP is the goal. The TMC itself needs to consolidate in Bengal where the BJP came uncomfortably close to it in 2019 winning 18 seats as against TMC’s 22 and Congress’s two.


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