Congress not the big boss of Opposition, says Trinamool

The Trinamool leader, after a party meeting, says that Congress should give regional parties their due honour

Published - March 17, 2023 09:36 pm IST - Kolkata

TMC leader Sudip Banerjee along with Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya addressing a press conference after a  meeting of Trinamool Congress leadership in Kolkata on March 17, 2023.

TMC leader Sudip Banerjee along with Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya addressing a press conference after a meeting of Trinamool Congress leadership in Kolkata on March 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri

The Congress party should not feel that they are the big boss of the Opposition parties, Trinamool Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Banerjee said on Friday, observing that the party will maintain equal distance from both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Referring to the logjam in the Parliament over the BJP’s demand of an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over the “democracy under attack” remark, Mr. Banerjee said that the BJP wants to project Mr. Gandhi as the face of the Opposition so that it is easier for them win the next general election.

“It (Congress) is not doing the right things at the right time. Congress should give regional parties their due honour,” Mr. Banerjee said after a meeting of the top leadership of the party in Kolkata.

The Trinamool leader said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after meeting Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav in Kolkata today, will also meet Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on March 23 and subsequently visit Delhi to meet leaders of other Opposition parties.

While the veteran MP said that the party is not referring to any ‘third front’ at this moment, he added that the Trinamool Congress will “prove how to remove BJP from power with the support of regional parties.”

The remarks by the Trinamool leader are in line with the party chairperson’s utterances on March 3 where she had said that her party will not ally with the Congress or the Left parties in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and will contest the polls alone.

“There will be an alliance of Trinamool Congress and the people. We will not ally with any of them,” she had said upset with the outcome of the Sagardighi bypoll where the Congress candidate defeated the Trinamool Congress nominee. The Trinamool Congress, since its victory in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls, has been critical of the Congress party and has accused it of not being a strong Opposition to the BJP.

On Friday, State’s Minister and senior Trinamool Congress leader Chandrima Bhattacharya who spoke to media persons along with Sudip Banerjee said that the Congress party allies with BJP and Left parties in West Bengal, and they want the Trinamool to stand by it in Delhi, this cannot happen.

Mr. Banerjee said that he had participated in the meeting of Opposition parties called by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on March 13 but since then the Trinamool has been holding protests on its own. The Lok Sabha MP from Kolkata North constituency said that Opposition parties including the Congress should contest the Lok Sabha polls without announcing any leader, and a decision on the leader can be made after the general elections.

Mr. Banerjee also added that most of the parties who were part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance are no longer with the BJP and will play a crucial part in the next Lok Sabha polls.

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