In the midst of internal disagreements within the INDIA bloc over seat-sharing, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee advocated for regional leaders leading the fight against the BJP in specific areas. She suggested that Congress independently contest 300 Lok Sabha seats while addressing an ‘all-faith harmony rally’ in Kolkata. Banerjee accused the CPI(M) of attempting to control the opposition grouping’s agenda and emphasized that she confronts the BJP more directly than anyone else.
Banerjee expressed her willingness to leave specific regions to regional parties and offered support to Congress in contesting 300 Lok Sabha seats independently. She criticized Congress for delaying seat-sharing discussions in West Bengal and stressed that the Left Front, led by the CPI(M), should not control the INDIA bloc’s agenda.
Referring to the recent incident where Rahul Gandhi was stopped from visiting the birthplace of Srimant Sankardeva in Assam, Banerjee highlighted her proactive stance against the saffron camp, mentioning her visits to temples, gurudwaras, churches, and mosques.
Her comments drew reactions from Congress and CPI(M). Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury remarked that they cannot comment on the whims and fancies of the TMC leadership, while CPI(M) West Bengal secretary Mohammed Salim stated that Mamata Banerjee has become opposed to the alliance and emphasized that the fight is between “the communal and the communists.”
Fissures within the INDIA bloc, particularly between Congress and TMC, have surfaced over seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal. The tension escalated after the TMC’s offer of two seats to Congress based on its 2019 Lok Sabha election performance was deemed insufficient by the latter.
In the 2019 elections, TMC won 22 seats, Congress secured two, and BJP got 18 seats in West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress had abstained from a recent INDIA bloc virtual meeting, emphasizing the need for Congress to recognize its limitations in Bengal and allow TMC to lead the state’s political battle.