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Sunday, April 14 2024
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Mamata Banerjee Rejects Congress’ Seat-Sharing Hope in West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee
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Kolkata: The Congress’ hopes of finalizing a seat-sharing agreement with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to resolve the deadlock within the opposition bloc in West Bengal were dashed as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee voiced her intention to unite regional parties post-elections to strategize for government formation at the Centre.

Despite concerted efforts by the Congress to reconcile with the TMC after a stalemate over seat allocation in West Bengal, Jairam Ramesh, the party’s general secretary, remained optimistic about reaching a “mutually acceptable” arrangement with the TMC, despite the latter’s reluctance to concede seats in the state to the Congress.

Addressing a government event in Nadia district, Mamata Banerjee emphasized her party’s eagerness to form an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state, asserting that it was the Congress that rejected her proposal. She accused the Congress of joining hands with the CPI(M) to assist the BJP in the elections, reiterating her party’s ability to challenge the BJP nationally.

Expressing confidence in the BJP’s defeat in the elections, Banerjee stated that the TMC, along with other regional parties, would chart a strategy for forming the government at the Centre post-elections, provided they have the people’s support.

Accusing the Congress and Left of colluding to bolster the BJP’s prospects in the upcoming elections, Banerjee highlighted the failure of seat-sharing discussions with the Congress, attributing it to alleged interference from the Left.

Her comments followed her recent announcement that the TMC would contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, significantly impacting the opposition bloc’s dynamics in West Bengal.

Taking indirect jabs at Rahul Gandhi’s ongoing yatra, presently in Murshidabad, Banerjee questioned the consistency of political presence, drawing parallels to her previous comparison of Gandhi to a “seasonal bird” during his visit to West Bengal in 2010.

Despite the TMC’s firm stance of not allocating any seats to the Congress due to its alleged alignment with the CPI(M), Ramesh expressed hope for a seat-sharing deal, emphasizing the importance of give-and-take dynamics in alliances and underscoring Mamata Banerjee’s commitment to the opposition bloc.

Amid tensions arising from the insufficient offer of seats by the TMC based on Congress’ 2019 Lok Sabha election performance, Ramesh remained confident in the alliance’s ability to contest the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal unitedly.

In the backdrop of the 27-party opposition bloc INDIA, comprising CPI(M), Congress, and TMC, tensions surged as the Congress aligned with the CPI(M) against the TMC and BJP in West Bengal, setting the stage for a complex electoral landscape.

In the 2019 elections, the TMC secured 22 seats, Congress won two, and the BJP bagged 18 seats in the state, indicating a fiercely contested battleground for the upcoming polls.

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