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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Mamata Banerjee's TMC to go solo in Bengal in big jolt to Congress

Mamata Banerjee had announced that TMC would go solo in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections and would contest all seats. The party has confirmed the development once again and said that there is no change in the position.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Updated on: February 23, 2024 23:23 IST
Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal, TMC, Congress, Lok Sabha elections 2024, INDIA alliance
Image Source : PTI West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

In a major jolt to the Congress’ hopes in West Bengal ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Trinamool Congress has said that the party will contest all 42 seats in the state in the upcoming elections, which was also announced by party chief Mamata Banerjee, and “there is no change in this position”. The remarks come amid reports of the revival of talks between the two parties to unitedly take on the BJP in the general elections due in April-May.

TMC leader Derek O'Brien on Friday (February 23) said that the party would contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, a few in Assam and one seat in Meghalaya.

O'Brien, TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP, said, “A few weeks ago...West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that TMC is fighting all the 42 seats in Bengal. We are also in the fray in a few seats in Assam and the Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya. There is no change in this position”.

Discussions underway between TMC-Congress: Sources

Earlier in the day, sources had said that deliberations were underway between the two parties, which have had fair share of war of words in recent times in the state, and that it would soon be finalised.

The TMC, which is the ruling party in West Bengal, has sought two seats in Assam and one in Meghalaya, which are being discussed, they said.

What had Mamata said earlier?

Mamata Banerjee had announced on January 24 that her party would go solo in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. She asserted that the TMC would not enter into any alliance in the state. 

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

Mamata's "40 seats" jibe at Congress

Mamata on February 2 expressed doubts if Congress, whom she offered to contest on two seats in the state in upcoming Lok Sabha elections, would manage to win “even 40 seats” nationwide if the grand old party goes on to fight in 300 seats. Taking a swipe at Congress, Mamata said that she had offered the party to fight in two seats in West Bengal as part of the I.N.D.I.A bloc, however, it rejected as it wanted more. She said that the talks between TMC and Congress have not taken place since then.

“I had asked Congress to fight on 300 seats but they did not listen. Now, they have come to the state first to cause flutter among Muslim voters. I don't know if they will even win 40 seats if they contest 300 seats. I was offering two seats and would have let them win. But they wanted more. I said okay, contest on all 42 then. Rejected! There was no conversation with them since,” Mamata had said.

Mamata had warned to leave alliance if not given "due importance"

Mamata on January 19 had warned that her party is ready to independently contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state if not given “due importance”.

"Our party supremo Mamata Banerjee clearly stated that the TMC is one of the most important partners of the INDIA bloc. But in Bengal, if RSP, CPI, CPI(M) are given more importance by excluding us, we will carve our own path, and preparations should be made to fight and win in all the 42 seats," a senior TMC leader, requesting anonymity, said.

(With PTI inputs)

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