10 Mar 2024

Lok Sabha Elections-2024: Congress Responds Swiftly After Trinamool Unveils Candidate List

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, disclosed its candidates for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, disregarding the Congress. Significantly, Congress had recently expressed openness to seat-sharing talks. The two parties are part of the INDIA bloc, formed to challenge the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections-2024. 

This move aligns with Banerjee's assertion that only her party can effectively counter the BJP in Bengal. Besides,the breakdown in talks with Congress over seat allocation had exacerbated tensions.

In a quick rejoinder to Trinamool's candidate announcement, Congress leaders expressed their disappointment.

Jairam Ramesh, senior Congress leader, stated on X (formerly Twitter): "The Indian National Congress has consistently expressed its willingness for a fair seat-sharing agreement with the TMC in West Bengal. Such an agreement should be reached through negotiations, not unilateral announcements."

He further emphasized, "The Indian National Congress has always advocated for the INDIA group to collectively confront the BJP."

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress leader in Lok Sabha, launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of signaling to the PMO by excluding Congress from the seat-sharing agreement.

Chowdhury asserted, "Mamata Banerjee has demonstrated today that political parties in INDIA should not trust a leader like her. She fears that remaining in the INDIA alliance will displease PM Modi. By distancing herself from the alliance, she sends a message to the PMO – 'Don't be unhappy with me; I am not standing against the BJP.'"

Eight Sitting MPs dropped

Trinamool's candidate list for the Lok Sabha polls witnessed the exclusion of at least eight sitting MPs and introducing fresh faces like former cricketers Yusuf Pathan and Kirti Azad. 

Yusuf Pathan is set to contest from the Baharampur Lok Sabha seat, a stronghold previously held by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. This strategic move is seen as Trinamool's response to Chowdhury's repeated criticisms.

Nusrat Jahan denied ticket

Trinamool also nominated Haji Nurul Islam, a former MP, from the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat, displacing sitting MP Nusrat Jahan. Expelled Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra was also renominated from Krishnanagar seat for a second consecutive term.

The prolonged struggle between Congress and Trinamool for a seat-sharing arrangement in Bengal reached an impasse, with the TMC consistently walking away from the table whenever the Congress demanded more than three seats in the state.

Mamata did not join Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

The discord led Mamata Banerjee to abstain from joining the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra passing through Bengal. This decision deprived the INDIA bloc of presenting a united front against the BJP's political attacks, highlighting the underlying conflicts within the Opposition.

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