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Mamata Banerjee 'doubts' if Congress will secure 'even 40 seats' in Lok Sabha polls
Mamata Banerjee
In image Mamata Banerjee at dharna/ courtesy: X/AITCOfficial

Mamata Banerjee 'doubts' if Congress will secure 'even 40 seats' in Lok Sabha polls

| @indiablooms | 03 Feb 2024, 01:44 am

Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday challenged the Congress to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Hindi heartland states as she doubted their ability to even secure "40 seats" in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Her statement came hours after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed optimism about resolving the seat-sharing deadlock with the Trinamool Congress during his Bharta Jodo Nyay Yatra in Bengal.

Strongly criticising Congress's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra', which traversed through six districts of Bengal, Banerjee compared it to a "mere photo opportunity" for "migratory birds" aimed at dividing minority votes in the state.

Banerjee made these remarks during her sit-in-dharna in Kolkata, that she is holding in demand of payment of dues in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) fund to the state.

"I proposed that Congress contest 300 seats (across the country where BJP is the main opposition), but they refused to heed. Now, they've arrived in the state to stir up Muslim voters. I doubt whether they will secure even 40 seats if they contested 300," Banerjee said.

"We were open to an alliance, offering them two seats, which they rejected. Now let them contest in all 42 seats alone. Since then, there has been no dialogue between us. We will fight alone and defeat the BJP in Bengal," she said.

On Thursday Rahul Gandhi, during an interaction, said, "Neither Mamata-ji has said, nor the Congress has come out of the alliance. Even Mamata-ji is saying that she is in the alliance. Seat negotiations are on from both ends. It will be resolved."

Despite Congress's attempts to reconcile with the Trinamool following a deadlock over seat-sharing in Bengal, Banerjee, who had earlier declared that her party would contest alone in the state, remained steadfast in her refusal to allocate seats to the grand old party.

She rather threw a challenge to the Congress to take on the BJP and defeat it in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

"If you have the courage, defeat the BJP in UP, Banaras, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Where were you (Congress) when Manipur was burning? We had sent a team," she said.

Regarding Gandhi's yatra that traversed through Bengal, Banerjee remarked that the Congress did not inform her about it.

"Despite being an alliance partner of INDIA, they did not inform them. I got to know through administrative sources. They had called Derek O'Brien to request that the rally be allowed to pass through. Why come to Bengal then?" she said.


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