Published On: Thu, Jan 4th, 2024

Congress says ‘don’t need Mamata’s pity’ as cracks widens in INDI alliance over seat-Sharing

New Delhi: In a dramatic turn of events indicative of a widening rift within the INDI Alliance, the Congress has openly criticized the Trinamool Congress (TMC), led by Mamata Banerjee, accusing the ruling party in West Bengal of hindering progress in seat-sharing discussions.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declared that his party needed ”no favours” from the TMC

Congress MP and West Bengal unit chief, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, has expressed doubts about Mamata Banerjee’s sincere engagement in seat-sharing talks with his party.

Speaking at a press conference in Murshidabad district, Chowdhury dismissed Mamata’s reported offer of two Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, emphasizing that those constituencies were already in their possession.

“The true face of Mamata Banerjee is out. They (TMC) are saying that they are ready to give us two seats in West Bengal. The seats in question are already with us. Both these constituencies elected Congress MPs. So, what new are they giving us? We won these seats defeating Mamata Banerjee’s TMC and the BJP. Are they doing us a favour? Who will trust her (Mamata) with seat allotment?” Adhir said.

He questioned the TMC’s offer, stating that the contested seats were won by Congress in the previous elections, defeating both TMC and BJP candidates.

The TMC, a key constituent of the INDI alliance reportedly proposed two seats for the Congress in the upcoming general elections. However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declared that his party needed ”no favours” from the TMC, expressing confidence in Congress’s ability to go solo in West Bengal and secure victory.

While the INDIA partners convened for their fourth meeting in the national capital, the contentious issue of seat-sharing in individual states remained unresolved. Major friction points were observed in Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, with regional parties driving a hard bargain with the Congress.

In Punjab, Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring announced plans to compete on all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Dismissing discussions on seat-sharing or alliances, Warring emphasized the party’s determination to contest independently and formulate a broad strategy for the upcoming polls.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena’s (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut asserted the party’s dominance in Maharashtra, hinting at no compromise in seat-sharing negotiations. Raut highlighted the Shiv Sena’s historical presence in 23 seats and affirmed their commitment to maintaining this stronghold in the upcoming elections.

Reacting to Shiv Sena’s claim, Congress leader Milind Deora asserted the grand old party’s position as the leading opposition force in Maharashtra. He emphasized that no alliance could proceed without consulting the local leadership of the state.

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