Congress replies to INDIA ally Mamata: Her priority is to fight BJP, so is ours

| Updated: 03 February, 2024 5:26 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Congress responded swiftly on Saturday to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee’s recent remark, where she cast doubt on the party’s ability to secure even 40 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh, while addressing the media, stated, “We assume she (Mamata Banerjee) is still part of the INDIA group, a coalition of 27 parties. Her priority is to fight the BJP, and so is ours.”

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Ramesh emphasised the need for unity, stating, “I think it’s better if we all come together. We should realise that this is not a local-level election.”

During a public meeting in West Bengal’s Murshidabad, Banerjee criticised the Congress, saying, “I doubt if you (Congress) will win 40. I offered two seats, but they wanted more. I said okay, contest on all 42 then. Rejected! There has been no conversation with them since.”

Banerjee challenged the Grand Old Party to defeat the saffron party in Uttar Pradesh, including in Varanasi, represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“If you have the courage, defeat the BJP in UP, Banaras, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh,” said the TMC chief.

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Despite both being part of the INDIA bloc, the TMC and Congress have been at odds over seat-sharing in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee has declared her decision to contest independently, stating she will not share a single seat with Congress or the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Earlier, she expressed satisfaction with JDU breaking the alliance with RJD in Bihar. According to media reports, she allegedly described JD(U) leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s departure from the INDIA bloc as a ‘good riddance.’ These remarks were reportedly made during a social gathering hosted by Governor CV Ananda Bose at the Raj Bhavan on Republic Day.

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