Don’t Need Mamata’s Pity: Cong Slams INDIA Bloc Partner TMC
Sending out tell-tale hints of a further deepening of cracks in the Opposition bloc — INDIA — as the Lok Sabha elections near, the West Bengal unit of the Congress on Thursday took a swipe at the Trinamool Congress, blaming the ruling party in the state for the lack of progress in seat-sharing talks.
Further opening up fissures in the Opposition bloc at a time when divergent voices over seat-sharing have come to the fore, Congress MP and the party’s West Bengal chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday hit out at TMC Supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, voice doubts over her intent to go into a seat allotment with the grand old party in the state.
Addressing a press conference in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal on Thursday, Adhir also scoffed at Mamata’s rumoured offer of 2 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, saying those constituencies are already with the Congress and his party was quite capable of retaining them in the polls that are likely to be scheduled in the summer.
“The true face of Mamata Banerjee is out. They (TMC) are saying that they are ready to give us two seats in West Bengal. The seats in question are already with us. Both these constituencies elected Congress MPs. So, what new are they giving us? We won these seats defeating Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and the BJP. Are they doing us a favour? Who will trust her (Mamata) with seat allotment?” Adhir said.
A key constituent of the INDIA bloc, the TMC has reportedly proposed 2 seats for the Congress to contest in the general elections.
In a further dig at the ruling party in the state, Adhir said he needed no favour from the TMC as his party was quite capable of going solo in the state.
“It is Mamata who needs the Congress to win, not the other way around. We are quite capable of waging a solo fight in the state and winning more seats than we did last time. We are prepared to show as much. We don’t need Mamata’s pity and are quite capable of retaining these two seats (even if the TMC contests them),” the Congress state chief added.
While the INDIA partners came together for their fourth meeting in the national capital recently, the potentially thorny issue of seat-sharing in individual states remained unaddressed.
It is believed that there are major friction points over seat-sharing in Bihar, Punjab, UP, and Bengal, with regional parties driving a hard bargain with the Congress.
Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring on Thursday said his party is planning to ‘compete’ on all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
“The AICC has told us to prepare to fight in all 13 seats. At our meeting today, there was no discussion on seat-sharing or an alliance here. We are preparing to fight in all 13 seats here. We will hold further discussions over the candidates and come up with a broad strategy to contest the polls over the next 3-4 months,” Warring said.
Earlier, in December, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut claimed his party was the bigger player in Maharashtra, hinting at no compromise when it comes to seat-sharing for the LS polls.
“This is Maharashtra, and Shiv Sena is the biggest party here. Congress is a national party. Uddhav Thackeray is holding positive discussions with the decision-making leaders of the Congress, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, and KC Venugopal. The Shiv Sena has always fought in 23 seats here in the Lok Sabha elections, including Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and we will be firm on fighting in no less than 23 this time as well,” Raut said earlier.
Miffed with his remark, Congress leader Milind Deora said the grand old party was the leading opposition force in Maharashtra and no alliance could proceed without consultation with the party’s local leadership of the state.
Taking to his official handle on X, Deora posted, “According to Sanjay Raut ji, despite the loss of its 40 MLAs @ShivSenaUBT_ remains the largest party in MVA. He suggests that @INCIndia should begin negotiations starting with zero seats. He is talking about the party which is the largest opposition party in the Maharashtra Assembly and is leading the opposition. I want to tell Mr. @rautsanjay61 that no alliance can proceed without consultation with the local leadership of Maharashtra. This idea is also supported and supported by AICC.” (ANI)
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