No one is a factor in Murshidabad: Mamata asks leaders to step up activities in the district


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and TMC General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee during an event in Kolkata.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and TMC General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee during an event in Kolkata.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Amid the discussion of seat sharing between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the party leaders in Murshidabad to step up political activities in Murshidabad district- considered a stronghold of the Congress party. In a closed door meeting of party leaders of Murshidabad district on Friday, Ms. Banerjee gave clear hints that the party is willing to go solo in the State.

“No single person is a factor in Murshidabad. If you all fight together… We will win all the three seats in Murshidabad,” the Trinamool chairperson reportedly told party leaders. Though she did not take the name of any leader she hinted at State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. The Trinamool had won two of the three seats (Murshidabad and Jangipur) in the district in 2019 whereas Mr. Chowdhury managed to retain Baharampur. In the 2021 Assembly the Trinamool won 20 of 22 Assembly seats in the district and two seats were won by the BJP.

The Chief Minister, however, did not completely rule out any alliance. “If something happens in future, we’ll think about it,” Ms. Banerjee said. She asked Trinamool leaders Firhad Hakim and Subrata Bakshi to oversee the party affairs in Murshidabad.

While Trinamool Congress is offering two seats to Congress – Baharampur and Malda Dakshin – the grand old party wants at least six seats. State Congress president is not willing to agree to the proposal and has gone on record saying that “Trinamool needs Congress more than Congress needs Trinamool’. West Bengal elects 42 MPs to Parliament and Congress has won two seats in 2019 which Trinamool is offering as a part of the alliance. Mr. Chowdhury has not made any comments on the Friday meeting.

On Saturday, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh once again targeted the State Congress leadership and accused the party leaders of “ unjustified bargaining” . “The Congress State unit cannot do unjustified bargaining on the matter,” Mr. Ghosh said. The Trinamool spokesperson added that party chairperson Mamata Banerjee will take a final call over seat sharing. He added that Ms. Banerjee is in “communication with the INDIA bloc leadership” and that nothing has been finalised yet. Meanwhile, All India Mahila Congress President Alka Lamba told journalists at Siliguri that discussions for seat sharing will be concluded soon. ”Parleys are on in different states over seat sharing, including in West Bengal,” Ms. Lamba said.

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