TMC not to initiate further seat-sharing talks with Congress

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Kolkata, Jan 12 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress is no longer interested in initiating fresh talks with the Congress regarding the seat sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls this year as part of the INDIA bloc.

A veteran leader of the party and also a senior member of the West Bengal Cabinet said that the party supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was of the opinion that further talks with the Congress were useless on two grounds.

“The first reason is that the Congress’ demand for eight to ten seats in West Bengal is totally absurd considering that the vote share of the country’s oldest national party had come down to just three per cent in the 2021 state Assembly polls.

“Without a single member in the state Assembly and just two MPs in the Lok Sabha, the demand for eight to ten seats is nothing but overreach,” said a state Cabinet member.

He added, “It seems that the Congress leadership is more interested in a seat-sharing agreement with the CPI(M)-led Left Front rather than with the Trinamool Congress and hence the leadership of the state’s ruling party does not find the necessity of initiating any further discussions on seat sharing with the Congress.”

Party insiders said that Mamata Banerjee was specially irked on receiving the information that the Congress along with the CPI(M) had taken an in-principle decision to back the lone All-India Secular Front (AISF)- candidate Naushad Siddique in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from Diamond Harbour constituency in South 24 Parganas district from where the sitting MP is Trinamool Congress’ General Secretary and the Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

Recently Mamata Banerjee herself gave hints on this count as she said that while the Opposition INDIA bloc will continue in the national perspective, in West Bengal the Trinamool Congress will fight alone.

Soon after that State Congress President and veteran Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury challenged the Chief Minister to contest against him from Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district from where he is a five-time MP.



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