Talks are on with TMC: Rahul; Spring cuckoos visit Bengal before polls: Mamata

Mamata on Friday flayed the Congress for allying with the CPI(M) and added that the Left has always helped the BJP.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee.

KOLAKATA: A week after Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee announced that her party would fight the Lok Sabha elections alone in West Bengal’s all 42 Lok Sabha seats ruling out alliance with the INDIA bloc partner Congress, leader of the grand old party Rahul Gandhi said on Friday, the last day of his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Bengal, that talks for a possible seat sharing deal is still underway and the issue between the two parties would be “resolved” soon.

Asked why Congress was giving importance to the TMC when Mamata had made a loud and clear announcement that her party would fight alone, Gandhi said, “Even Mamataji is saying that she is in the alliance. Neither Mamataji has said nor the Congress has come out of the alliance. Seat negotiations are on from both ends. It will be resolved.”

Mamata, shortly after Gandhi’s yatra left Bengal and entered Jharkhand, took a jibe at the Congress leader’s event that travelled through the Bengal district by describing him as a boshonter kokil (spring cuckoo) who has visited Bengal for a photoshoot.

“You will never see some leaders throughout the year. They are never seen standing beside the people. But they appear like spring cuckoos before elections. After the photoshoots, they leave. Identify them. Do not vote for them. Voting for them means strengthening the BJP,” said Mamata without naming Rahul or any other Congress leader.

The Bengal chief minister apparently referred to the CPI(M) leadership’s presence in Gandhi’s yatra event in Murshidabad on Monday. “The Congress leader, and CPI(M)’s state secretary Mohammad Selim and central committee member and other leaders were seen in photographs which were shared on social media platforms which the chief minister referred to as photoshoot,” said a TMC leader.

Echoing Gandhi, Congress’s general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the Congress and the TMC have a common objective which is uprooting the BJP from the Centre. “Dialogues between the two parties will sort out all the issues related to seat adjustment,” he said.

Mamata on Friday flayed the Congress for allying with the CPI(M) and added that the Left has always helped the BJP. “The Congress and CPI(M) are trying to entice the Muslim voters whereas the BJP is reaching out to the Hindus,” she said emphasising that her party is for people of all castes and communities.

Last year, the left-supported Congress candidate defeated the Trinamool Congress nominee at Sagardighi Assembly bypolls in Murshidabad.

Launching sporadic attacks on the CPI(M) and the Congress during her district's visit, Mamata dubbed the Left party as BJP’s no.1 agent and the Congress joined hands with them to benefit the saffron camp.

Mamata, while addressing a gathering on Monday, explained why she decided to fight alone. “I offered the Congress two seats but they wanted more. If they want to contest all Lok Sabha seats in the state, I cannot accept it. The Congress and CPI(M) have joined hands to assist the BJP,” she said

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