Congress failed in Tripura because Rahul Gandhi turned down alliance with TMC: Mamata Banerjee

The BJP on Saturday decimated the Left in Tripura - one of its last two citadels - and ousted the CPI-M from power after 25 long years.

Congress failed in Tripura because Rahul Gandhi turned down alliance with TMC: Mamata Banerjee
Pic courtesy: PTI (File image)

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said she had approached Congress president Rahul Gandhi for an alliance in Tripura but was not listened to.

"I requested the Congress for a coalition (in Tripura). I told Rahul Gandhi that we are new as a party in Tripura. So let's unite Congress and Trinamool Congress and the hill parties there to fight the election together. But they did not listen to me," Banerjee said in the wake of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) thumping victory in Tripura.

"The Congress showed total negligence in Tripura and did not accept my proposal. As a result, they are languishing with 1.8 percent votes. It is a matter of shame for them," the TMC supremo said.

Banerjee clarified she had proposed a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress and other hill parties in Tripura to keep the BJP at bay.

"I also proposed seat adjustment there. I told the Congress that my party is ready to fight 14 seats, let the local hill parties contest 16 seats and you (Congress) fight the rest 30 seats. If such a platform could be formed, getting 15-20 percent vote share would have been easy. But the Congress did nothing. They supplied oxygen to the BJP," she revealed.

"If the coalition had happened, I would have held six or seven public meetings there. Maybe, the whole complexion of the election would have changed. But I did not get that chance," Mamata said.

Terming BJP's victory in Tripura as 'insignificant' vis-a-vis the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, she said the inactivity by the Congress and total surrender by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist has led the BJP to the victory.

Earlier, she had refused to give any credit to the BJP for its historic victory in Tripura and termed Saturday's result as 'CPI-M's loss'.

BJP sweeps Tripura Assembly elections:

The BJP on Saturday decimated the Left in Tripura - one of its last two citadels - and ousted the CPI-M from power after 25 long years.

Pulling off a historic victory, the BJP and its ally Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), a tribal-dominated party, together won 43 out of 59 Tripura constituencies. The BJP on its own won 35 seats, four more than the half-way mark, while its ally IPFT won eight seats. In a remarkable performance, the alliance swept all the 20 seats reserved for tribals.

The BJP, which had no MLAs in the outgoing Assembly and polled just 1.5 percent votes in the 2013 elections, losing deposits in 49 of the 50 constituencies it contested, secured over 42 percent of votes in the February 18, 2018, Tripura elections. 

The CPI-M which headed the ruling Left Front was reduced to just 15 seats - down from 50 in the last elections. None of its partners, including the CPI, Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party, could open their account.

The Congress, which had 10 members in the outgoing Assembly, drew a blank this time.

(With IANS inputs)

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