No INDIA alliance in Bengal; voting for CPI (M), Congress would mean voting for BJP: Mamata

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Krishnanagar (WB), Mar 31 (PTI) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused its INDIA bloc partners CPI (M) and Congress of "joining hands with the BJP" in West Bengal and asserted that the opposition alliance has "ceased to exist" in the state.


The Trinamool Congress supremo urged people not to cast their votes in favour of the Left-Congress-ISF alliance in West Bengal as "voting for them would mean voting for the BJP".

"There is no INDIA alliance in West Bengal. I had played a key role in the formation of the opposition bloc. Even its name was given by me. But, the CPI (M) and Congress are working for the BJP in the state," she said.

"Don't cast your votes in favour of Congress, the CPI (M) and their ally, a minority party (Indian Secular Front) in the state if you want to defeat the BJP," she said.


Banerjee claimed that although TMC leaders are being "hounded by the CBI and ED", not a single CPI (M) or Congress leader in West Bengal has been arrested by these agencies.

In January, Banerjee had announced that her party would contest the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal alone, rebuffing efforts by the Congress leadership to negotiate a seat-sharing agreement.

The TMC, however, is part of the opposition INDIA bloc at the national level. The decision by the Trinamool Congress to go alone in West Bengal has set the stage for a three-cornered electoral battle.


Reacting sharply to Banerjee's remarks, CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty accused the TMC of having a "covert understanding" with the saffron camp.

"Many top opposition leaders have been arrested such as Hemant Soren, and Arvind Kejriwal. But no one has touched the top leadership of the TMC despite many allegations of corruption. And secondly, the INDIA bloc is not the personal property of the TMC, it cannot decide whether the alliance exists or not," he said.

The TMC is contesting in all the 42 Lok Sabha seats of the state. PTI PNT ACD