Mamata calls for seat sharing of Opposition parties under INDIA alliance for 2024 polls

The Trinamool Congress chairperson said that the results of the recently held Assembly polls were a “defeat of the Congress party and not of the people”

December 04, 2023 07:26 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST - Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called for a seat-sharing of parties in the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“I still believe that if there is seat sharing [among parties in the INDIA bloc] the BJP will not return to power in 2024,” Ms. Banerjee said while participating in a debate in the State Assembly. The Trinamool Congress chairperson said that the results of the recently held Assembly elections were a “defeat of the Congress party and not of the people”.

The remarks of the Chief Minister came a day after the BJP wrested Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh from Congress while retaining the power in Madhya Pradesh and the Congress party bagged Telangana in the recently held Assembly elections. The Trinamool chairperson stressed that there were repeated requests of political parties for seat sharing in the Assembly polls but the Congress did not accept it. “If there was an alliance such a situation would not have emerged,” the Chief Minister said. She added that along with ideology there is a need for strategy.

Ms. Banerjee pointed out that there was a very small difference of vote percentage between Congress and BJP and some parties of INDIA alliance contested against Congress and split the votes. The Chief Minister expressed hope the Opposition parties under the INDIA banner will work together and correct the mistakes in future.

Not attending INDIA Opposition meet

Asked about her presence at the meeting of Opposition parties under the banner of INDIA scheduled at the residence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on December 6, Trinamool Chairperson said that she was not contacted for the meeting. “Nobody had contacted me. I have events lined up in north Bengal from December 6 to December 12,” Ms. Banerjee said.

She said that now if the invitation is extended to her it would be difficult for her to go and attend the meeting. The Chief Minister remained non-committal on where her party representative will attend the meeting or not. 

Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee also spoke of the issue and said that the commitment of the Congress party should reflect not only in words but also in action. “I am nobody to keep believing or stop believing. In a democracy, the last word is of the public. If Congress wants everyone to unite and fight the BJP, I would like to tell them that there isn’t much time. The effort to bring everyone together has begun. If you want everyone to fight together, it should reflect in your actions not your words,” Mr. Banerjee said.

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