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Congress and CPI(M) apprehensive about fall out of Mamta's comment

Congress and CPI(M) apprehensive about fall out of Mamta's comment

The Congress and the CPI(M) expressed apprehension on Wednesday that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's comment that all the opposition parties will unitedly fight against the BJP nationally will adversely impact their electoral prospects in West Bengal in the coming Lok Sabha polls. The comment would in fact help the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to polarise voters in Bengal, they said.

Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo, told a mega rally organised by the Aam Aadmi Party at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday that opposition parties would fight unitedly at the national level to oust the NDA from power. "We (TMC) are fighting against the CPI(M) and the Congress in Bengal. The BJP, the CPI(M) and the Congress are fighting against the TMC in the state. But all the opposition parties will fight unitedly at the national level," she said.

CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said Banerjee had "deliberately" said this to help the BJP polarise voters in Bengal. "Everybody knows that the BJP has grown in Bengal during the TMC's tenure. It is due to the tacit understanding between the two parties that the saffron party has grown in Bengal," he said.

State Congress chief Somen Mitra too echoed Chakraborty's views and said the "double standards" of the TMC government had helped the BJP in Bengal. "On one hand, she (Banerjee) is talking of fighting against the BJP and on the other hand, her party has ensured that secular forces like the Congress are weakened in Bengal. The TMC, in the last seven years, has ensured that secular forces cease to exist in Bengal by poaching on our elected representatives," he alleged.

"Claims of fighting the BJP do not suit the TMC," Mitra said. Since the 2016 state Assembly polls, 15 Congress MLAs -- 14 of them unofficially -- and one MP have switched to the TMC.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh claimed that the saffron party would emerge victorious in Bengal, adding that Banerjee's comment proved that only the BJP could fight against the TMC in the state. "The CPI(M) and the Congress have turned into signboards in Bengal. Only the BJP is fighting against the misrule of the TMC in the state," he said.

BJP president Amit Shah has set a target of winning 23 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. The CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress have witnessed a sharp decline in their vote share in the last several by-elections and last year's panchayat polls with the BJP outsmarting them to become the main opposition party in Bengal.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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