No seat sharing with Congress till they are aligned with CPIM: Mamata Banerjee | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

No seat sharing with Congress till they are aligned with CPIM: Mamata Banerjee

Jan 31, 2024 08:00 PM IST

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee says Trinamool Congress won't have seat-sharing arrangement with Congress until they cut ties with CPIM.

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will not come to a Lok Sabha seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress till the time they are aligned with the CPIM in the state.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee with TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata. (ANI file photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee with TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata. (ANI file photo)

“I told the Congress that they don’t have a single legislator in the state assembly. I offered them two Lok Sabha seats and said that I would ensure they win from the two seats. They refused and wanted more seats. I told them I won’t spare even a single seat. I asked them to first cut ties with the CPIM. I haven’t forgotten how the CPIM tortured our men,” Banerjee said while addressing a gathering in Malda district.

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The CM is touring districts in north and south Bengal since January 29. On Wednesday she held two road rallies and addressed two public meetings in Malda and Murshidabad, erstwhile Congress bastions.

“The CPIM is the number one agent of BJP. Our understanding with the Congress was good. It has deteriorated because of the CPIM,” she said in Murshidabad.

“I wanted to leave two seats for the Congress. They refused. I asked them how many do they want? 42 out of 42 seats? They would lose all 42 and the BJP would enter Bengal. I won’t allow this. I backed out because I won’t hold the CPIM’s hand. I have the courage to fight BJP,” she added.

On January 24, the TMC chief had announced that her party would contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal on its own. Her statements came after she is said to have waited for over a month to hear from the Congress over her December 19 offer of two seats - Malda Dakshin and Berhampore; Congress had won the two seats in 2019.

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The Congress hit back saying that the TMC is opposing Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra in West Bengal as it has a tacit understanding with the BJP.

“She is coming up with new statements every day. A few days ago, she said that no one discussed with her about seat sharing. Then with who she discussed the formula of two seats? She is trying to confuse the people. The cat has come out the bag and her intentions are clear now. We are not surprised. People have understood her double standards,” said Congress leader, Soumya Aich Roy.

The CPIM stepped up its ante against Banerjee alleging that the TMC and BJP were natural allies and that Banerjee has frequently changed her political stance.

“She had joined the BJP government in the past and had held important portfolios. Banerjee hasn’t opposed any bills introduced by the Narendra Modi government since 2014. Her party spent crores of rupees to contest in some states to split non-BJP votes and help the BJP. We consider the TMC and BJP synonymous,” said Tanmoy Bhattacharya, CPIM leader.

“If she has so much of hatred against the CPIM, why did she held alliance meetings and dine with them? Why did she join the INDIA alliance in the first place? Actually, she thought that she would get to control the INDIA alliance. But when she saw that the Congress and the CPIM were in full control of the alliance, she is making such statements,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP leader.

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