West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will not engage in a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress unless they sever ties with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPIM in the state. Banerjee conveyed her decision while addressing a gathering in the Malda district, stating, “I told the Congress that they don’t have a single legislator in the state assembly. I offered them two Lok Sabha seats and said that I would ensure they win from the two seats. They refused and wanted more seats. I told them I won’t spare even a single seat. I asked them to first cut ties with the CPIM. I haven’t forgotten how the CPIM tortured our men.”
Banerjee is currently touring districts in north and south Bengal, holding road rallies and public meetings. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the Congress, emphasizing that the deterioration in the understanding between TMC and Congress was due to the Congress’s association with CPIM. She accused CPIM of being the “number one agent of BJP.”
Despite her initial offer of two seats to Congress, Banerjee revealed that the Congress refused and demanded more seats. She warned that allocating all 42 seats to the Congress would result in losing all of them and open the door for the BJP to enter Bengal.
The TMC chief had previously announced on January 24 that her party would contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal independently. This decision followed her offer to Congress of two seats – Malda Dakshin and Berhampore – on December 19, which the Congress did not respond to promptly.
In response, the Congress accused TMC of opposing Rahul Gandhi’s Nyay Yatra in West Bengal due to a supposed understanding with the BJP. Congress leader Soumya Aich Roy commented on Banerjee’s changing statements and alleged double standards, claiming that the TMC and BJP are synonymous.
CPIM leader Tanmoy Bhattacharya criticized Banerjee’s stance, stating, “Her party spent crores of rupees to contest in some states to split non-BJP votes and help the BJP. We consider the TMC and BJP synonymous.” Meanwhile, BJP leader Rahul Sinha questioned Banerjee’s past alliance meetings and joint initiatives with CPIM, suggesting that her recent statements stem from her inability to control the alliance.
The political dynamics in West Bengal continue to evolve as the TMC chief takes a firm stand against Congress’s association with CPIM, leading to uncertainty in the state’s political landscape.