‘Defeat BJP in UP, MP if you have courage’: Mamata’s dare to Congress

NEW DELHI: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday unleashed an all out attack on the Congress and mocked Rahul Gandhi, who traversed through the six districts of the state with his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The Trinamool chief also took a dig at the poll prospects of the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and wondered if the grand old party would win even 40 Lok Sabha seats.
“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,” Mamata said in a no-holds-barred attack amid strain in ties between the two parties over failed seat sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
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, Varanasi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Where were you (Congress) when Manipur was burning? We had sent a team,” she said.
The West Bengal chief minister, who has expressed her intention of uniting regional parties after elections to strategise government formation at the Centre, said “We were open to an alliance, offering them two seats which they rejected. Now let them contest in all 42 seats alone. Since then, there has been no dialogue between us.”

Rahul beedi workers

Taking a swipe at Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and his meeting with beedi workers, Mamata compared it to a “mere photo opportunity” for “migratory birds” who have descended upon the state.
Mamata has been relentless in her attack on the Congress even accusing the grand old party of teaming up with the CPM to help the BJP in West Bengal. The West Bengal chief minister had offered two Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, which the grand old party refused to accept. She has charged the Congress of making unreasonable demands for seats.
The Congress, however, is still optimistic of a truce. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said they are hopeful of reaching a “mutually acceptable” arrangement with the TMC, despite the latter’s reluctance to concede seats in the state to the grand old party.
In the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Trinamool had won 22 seats and the BJP 18. The Congress had bagged just 2 seats. However, in the assembly elections, the Congress and the Left were decimated by the Trinamool and the BJP replaced them as the main opposition party in the state.

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