Highlights

  • Mamata Banerjee calls Congress' foot march a 'photo opportunity'
  • Banerjee: doubt if Congress will win even 40 seats in Lok Sabha polls
  • Mamata has decided not to ally with Congress in Bengal

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Doubt Congress will win even 40 seats in Lok Sabha polls: Mamata

Mamata Banerjee has called Congress 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' a 'photo opportunity'

Doubt Congress will win even 40 seats in Lok Sabha polls: Mamata

In a scathing attack, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday challenged the Congress to take on the BJP in the Hindi heartland states and said she has doubts whether the grand-old party will secure "even 40 seats" in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Banerjee also criticised the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which traversed through the state's six districts, comparing it to a "mere photo opportunity" for "migratory birds" who have descended upon 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 asserted.

Speaking during a dharna here to demand the clearance of the state's dues by the Centre, Banerjee reiterated that her party was willing to form an alliance with the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, but highlighted that it was the grand-old party which declined her offer.

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

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

According to sources, Congress's journey through six districts of North Bengal, notably Uttar Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad, known for their significant minority population and traditional Congress support, might have triggered Banerjee's stance.

The TMC boss challenged the Congress to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

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

Drawing a comparison between Congress's yatra and "migratory birds," Banerjee derided the event as a "mere spectacle for photo opportunities", suggesting it lacked genuine intent.

Regarding the yatra traversing through Bengal, Banerjee said the Congress did not inform her about it.

"Despite being an alliance partner of INDIA, they did not inform me. 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. PTI PNT MNB


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