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Mamata to take final call on seat sharing, Cong Bengal unit cannot do unjustified bargaining: TMC

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Kolkata, Jan 20 (PTI) The TMC on Saturday said its supremo Mamata Banerjee will take the final call on seat sharing with the Congress in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls this year and asserted that "unjustified bargaining" cannot be done by the state unit of the grand old party.

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Based on the 2021 assembly poll results in the state, in which the Congress in alliance with the CPI(M)-led Left Front had fared badly, the Trinamool Congress top leadership offered the grand old party two seats, out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, in the coming general elections, its spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

"The Congress state unit cannot do unjustified bargaining on the matter," Ghosh said.

Meanwhile, All India Mahila Congress President Alka Lamba said in Siliguri that the party's leadership has been holding parleys with constituents of the INDIA bloc in different states, including in West Bengal, for seat sharing for the Lok Sabha elections.

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She said the process will be concluded soon.

"Parleys are on in different states over seat sharing, including in West Bengal," she told reporters.

Ghosh also said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in "communication with the INDIA bloc leadership and that nothing has been finalised yet.

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"Mamata Banerjee will take the final call," he told PTI.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front, Congress and the TMC are part of the opposition INDIA bloc.

Banerjee had on Friday asserted, in a closed-door meeting with the party's leaders in Murshidabad district, that the TMC is ready to independently contest all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state if not given due importance in the INDIA bloc.

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The state leadership of the Congress, which has been offered two seats by the TMC, is demanding some more constituencies.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had won only two seats of the 42 constituencies.

The CPI(M) in West Bengal has asserted that its fight was against both the TMC and the BJP in the state. The Congress and the Left could not open their accounts in the 2021 state assembly elections.

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Meanwhile, Lamba accused the BJP of "playing politics" over the Ram Temple issue and claimed that its construction was not yet complete.

"Despite that, the temple is being inaugurated for gaining political mileage," the Congress leader said.

Lamba is in Siliguri in connection with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' which will soon enter north Bengal from Assam.

She said that anyone can be part of the march by way of a missed call to a centralised mobile number. PTI AMR COR BDC

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