‘Mamata wants the Bengal Congress chief removed so that there is no apprehension of conflict between the two parties’.
NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is being heard to have shown displeasure towards Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and warned in her close circles that his continuation as the state chief will not bode well for the upcoming alliance between the two parties.
Party insiders claim that Chowdhury is pinching in the eyes of Banerjee. Earlier, Chowdhury, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, had come down heavily on Banerjee who said that her party would support Congress, but the latter should not contest polls in Bengal. Banerjee had said, “Congress should reciprocate the same attitude towards the TMC if it wanted her support.” Bickering against Banerjee, Chowdhury said that they will definitely fight everywhere required.
“We will definitely fight. Why only Bengal, we will fight everywhere required,” he had told a leading news agency. Chowdhury’s censure comes at a time when the Congress is looking to stich alliances with all the anti-BJP parties of which TMC is seen as a prominent force with 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state currently.
A political analyst said, “On many occasions, we have seen temper tantrums from Mamata Banerjee. When she gets angry, she would just do what she wants to do and at times she has also made rash decisions because of her fragile ego. This does not look wise when there are chances of peaceful negotiations, and when both the parties know that they are bound to come together in the wake of Lok Sabha elections, as both want to get rid of the BJP. Such statements do not sound wise. Moreover, it doesn’t send a good message within their party cadres when they are at the cusp of stitching an alliance.”
Sources privy to the developments say Banerjee wants the current Bengal president of Congress (Chowdhury) removed so that there is no apprehension of conflict between the two parties.
Training his guns at Banerjee, Chowdhury had also said, “This is the same Mamata Banerjee who goes to UP and Bihar to help the parties contesting against BJP, but does not visit Karnataka because Congress was contesting. Today when Congress won, then she felt it will be difficult going forward in Bengal without Congress, because Congress’ hold in Bengal is increasing day by day.”
Experts believe that Chowdhury’s attack could also play a role of “bad policeman” making the TMC realise that the grand old party has a large national space and if it contests alone, it could damage her party’s existence in the state; she needs to give adequate importance to Congress when seat-sharing is discussed. On the other hand, the Congress will play the role of a “good policeman” by trying to push for and negotiate more number of Lok Sabha seats when talks of alliance are initiated. A political analyst said, “In 2014, TMC had 34 Lok Sabha seats which went down to 22 in 2019. The target for her would be to reclaim around 30 number of seats.”
Earlier in January as well, Chowdhury attacked Mamata Banerjee, saying that she is doing “dalali” and questioned her relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
At the end of the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Chowdhury had said, “Our party has invited everyone. All those who want to fight against Modi ji should be mobilized. Ask Mamata ji, why Mamata ji is not coming. They are doing dalali. We do not know what the nexus between Mamata Banerjee and the BJP-led central government is.’’