Left trying to control Oppn bloc’s agenda, will not accept it: Mamata | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Left trying to control Oppn bloc’s agenda, will not accept it: Mamata

By, Kolkata
Jan 23, 2024 06:32 AM IST

CM Banerjee suggested that this impasse would likely help the BJP in the national elections, and said that she was not being allowed to fight

Laying bare the fissures in the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee launched an attack on its constituents, alleging that she was insulted because it was the CPI(M) that led meetings of the bloc, and suggested that the Congress was being dismissive of the interests of regional parties.

Mamata Banerjee expressed her angst publicly two days after she told party leaders in an internal TMC meeting that the party was ready to contest all 42 seats in West Bengal (HT)
Mamata Banerjee expressed her angst publicly two days after she told party leaders in an internal TMC meeting that the party was ready to contest all 42 seats in West Bengal (HT)

Banerjee expressed her angst publicly two days after she told party leaders in an internal TMC meeting that the party was ready to contest all 42 seats in West Bengal, a state where the BJP won 18 seats in 2019.

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Speaking at an interfaith “harmony” rally in Kolkata on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Banerjee said, “It was I who coined the name INDIA. But I am sorry to say that when I attend meetings, CPI(M) controls them. This is extremely sad. I feel insulted. I fought them (Left) for 34 years when they were in power. I will not follow their advice.”

While she did not name the Congress directly, she told a crowd of supporters at Park Circus maidan that she had asked them to contest 300 seats on their own, and leave the rest to regional parties, particularly in areas they were influential. “I asked them to let the regional parties contest seats in areas where they are strong. I said ‘you contest 300 seats on your own and we will help you.’ But they tell me ‘We will do whatever we feel like,” said Banerjee. Her comments came days before the Congress Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by leader Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to enter West Bengal, and is likely to cover nine Lok Sabha segments in five days.

Banerjee suggested that this impasse would likely help the BJP in the national elections, and said that she was not being allowed to fight. “Don’t help the BJP. If any of you help the BJP then I swear in the name of Allah that nobody will forgive you. I will not forgive you. I have the power to fight. But these people are not letting me fight. I have the courage and that’s why I took out this rally today. There are so many parties. How many showed this courage?” the chief minister said.

She accused the BJP of dividing the people on religious lines and said she was ready to “shed blood” to stop the BJP from winning even one seat in Bengal.

“I did not sit home when Kolkata burnt after the Babri incident. I met Jyoti Basu (then chief minister) and asked if he needed any help. Don’t forget this history. The young generation did not witness those days,” she said.

Responding to her allegations, CPI(M) state secretary and politburo member Mohammad Salim said that Banerjee has been trying to weaken the coalition “from the beginning.” “She has been trying to isolate the Left because we had been insisting on nationwide campaign against BJP by all parties while her sole interest was in seats. Her vested interest in coalition politics was exposed when she fielded candidates in Goa, Assam, Tripura and other states where the Congress was also contesting state polls,” Salim said.

Bengal PCC leader Koustav Bagchi, who earlier wrote to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge opposing any alliance with TMC, said : “State Congress leaders like us have seen the real face of Mamata Banerjee long ago. Let those who are working on the alliance see her as well. She can never be trusted.”

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