Congress says ‘don’t need Mamata’s mercy’, Trinamool responds with ‘zero baseline’ dig at grand old party | India News

7 Min Read

NEW DELHI: The knives are out in West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress and the Congress, who are allies in the anti-BJP front INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), engaged in a bitter war of words on Thursday over the proposed seat sharing formula for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“We don’t need Mamata’s mercy,” said West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury reacting strongly to reports that the Trinamool Congress is willing to spare only two seats for the grand old party.Adhir’s remarks evoked strong reactions from the ruling Trinamool Congress, which reminded the Congress of its “zero baseline” in the West Bengal assembly elections despite an alliance with the Left parties.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is a strong critic of the Mamata Banerjee government in the state, said “The real intention of Mamata Banerjee is out. The two seats they are talking about already has Congress MPs, which we won after defeating the Trinamool Congress and the BJP. What new are they offering to us? Who will trust her (Mamata Banerjee)? It is Mamata who needs Congress to win in West Bengal. Congress can fight on these two seats on its own and is capable of fighting and winning more seats in the state.”
“Do not forget that we did not win the seats in 2019 because of your mercy. Do not forget that Congress is your necessity for your own survival,” he said.
The Congress leader went on to take a dig at the Trinamool chief and accused her of trying to appease Prime Minister Modi.
“Mamata Banerjee will not do politics of coalition. If she engages in coalition politics, Prime Minister Modi will get angry and she does not do anything that makes the Prime Minister angry,” Chowdhury said.
TMC leader Kunal Ghosh responded to Adhir’s remarks reminding the Congress leader of the grand old party’s ‘Zero baseline’ in the state assembly elections.
“In the 2021 assembly elections, TMC fought alone and came to power, whereas Congress allied with the Left and won zero seats. Why is a party that could not win even one seat making such big claims? We do not need Congress in West Bengal. But for the spirit of the INDIA alliance, TMC is supporting Congress and Mamata Banerjee will make the final call on seat sharing,” Kunal Ghosh said.
The Trinamool leader took a dig at the Congress and said: “Those who say they don’t want two seats, they want eight, I want to ask them – you had 294 seats in the assembly elections, why didn’t you win even one? They fought against Trinamool and got zero seats and we came to power in the state. What will happen of a party that has zero baseline in the state.”
‘Challenge Mamata to contest against me’
Adhir, who is a five-time MP from Baharampur constituency in Murshidabad, also challenged Mamata Banerjee to contest against him in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Reacting to Banerjee’s suggestions to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi to contest from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Adhir said: “You suggested Priyanka Gandhi contest against the Prime Minister. Now I am challenging you to contest against me this time. I also want to see how powerful you are.”

‘Allies at Delhi, rivals in states’
West Bengal, Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala are among the states where the INDIA bloc parties will face a tough time reaching an agreement over seat sharing. In all these states, the allies at Centre are bitter political rivals at the state-level. The Congress will have a tough time negotiating with some of the regional parties.
West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP made huge gains and won 18 seats. The Trinamool Congress tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 in 2019. In the assembly elections, the Trinamool triumphed in a triangular contest decimating the Left- Congress alliance. The BJP made impressive gains becoming the main opposition party in the state. There will be hard bargaining between the two parties as the Congress knows that the Trinamool would not want the anti-BJP votes to split in West Bengal.
(With inputs from agencies)

Share This Article
Leave a comment