In Big Setback To INDIA Bloc, Mamata Banerjee's TMC To Contest 2024 Polls Alone In Bengal

Mamata has earlier cautioned that TMC is prepared to independently contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats if not given the "due importance." 

In Big Setback To INDIA Bloc, Mamata Banerjee's TMC To Contest 2024 Polls Alone In Bengal

KOLKATA: In a huge setback to the Opposition INDIA bloc, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that her party TMC will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election in Bengal on all 42 seats. She further stated that TMC will consider a pan-India alliance with the Congress-led INDIA bloc only after the 2024 election results have been declared. Mamata has also reportedly instructed the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and supporters to gear up for a fierce electoral battle on all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. During a meeting in Kalighat, Mamata asserted, "Be ready to fight on all seats. I wanted to leave two, but Congress wants twelve."

She added, "I had no discussions with the Congress party. I have always said that in Bengal, we will fight alone. I am not concerned about what will be done in the country but we are a secular party and, in Bengal, we will alone defeat BJP. I am a part of the INDIA alliance.'' 

"I gave many proposals but they rejected them from the beginning. From then, we have decided to fight the elections in Bengal alone," the TMC chief said.



The Bengal Chief Minister also claimed that she had not been informed of Rahul Gandhi's Nyay Yatra passing through Bengal, contrary to claims by the Congress that they had invited INDIA bloc parties to join the Yatra. "They did not even bother to inform me that they would be coming to West Bengal as a matter of courtesy even though I am a part of the INDIA bloc. So there is no relation with me as far as Bengal is concerned" Mamata Banerjee said.

Warning Shots: TMC's Seat-Sharing Deadlock

With seat-sharing discussions with Congress yielding no results, Mamata had earlier cautioned that TMC is prepared to independently contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats if not given the "due importance." This declaration sets the stage for a potential showdown within the INDIA bloc.

Strategic Meeting In Murshidabad: Rallying The Troops

Mamata's message was delivered during a closed-door organisational meeting of the party's Murshidabad district unit, known for its significant minority population and historical ties to the Congress. Emphasizing the need for victory in all three Lok Sabha seats in the district, Mamata urged TMC workers to be battle-ready.

Congress' Waning Influence: Bengal's Political Chessboard

In the 2019 general elections, Congress managed to retain only the Baharampur seat in West Bengal, highlighting its diminishing political foothold. The state's political dynamics reveal a complex scenario with TMC, Congress, and CPI(M)-led Left Front allying against the BJP, creating rifts within the Opposition.

The INDIA Bloc Turmoil: TMC's Offer And Congress' Rejection

Tensions escalated as TMC reportedly offered Congress only two seats, a proposal rejected by the grand old party. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, state Congress president, emphasized that Congress would not "beg" for seats. The fallout raises concerns about the unity of the Opposition ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections.

Last week, the TMC abstained from an INDIA bloc virtual meeting, underscoring the necessity for Congress to recognize its limitations in West Bengal. The ruling party emphasized its role in spearheading the state's political battle, hinting at growing discontent within the alliance.

Historical Alliances: TMC's Past Ties With Congress

The Trinamool Congress had previously allied with Congress in the 2001 assembly polls, 2009 Lok Sabha elections, and the 2011 assembly polls, leading to the ousting of the CPI(M)-led Left Front government after 34 years. The current discord between TMC and Congress adds a new chapter to their political history. With Mamata's decision to go alone, it now appears that the doors are closed for the Congress in Bengal. For the INDIA bloc, stitching together a formidable alliance has proven to be a stumbling block and it appears that now the alliance may not be able to put together a united front against the BJP.