Kharge speaks to Mamata; Jairam Ramesh says ‘will find way forward’

Ramesh's remark came amid a Congress-TMC impasse over seat-sharing in Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls and a day after Banerjee announced that her party will fight the elections in the state "alone".

New Delhi: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday, January 25, spoke with West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said and asserted that the two parties “will find a way forward”.

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Ramesh’s remark came amid a Congress-TMC impasse over seat-sharing in Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls and a day after Banerjee announced that her party will fight the elections in the state “alone”.

Congress president Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and everyone in the party would be “just delighted and privileged to have her as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra even if it is for a few minutes”, AICC general secretary in-charge communications Ramesh told PTI.

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“Congress president Kharge has spoken with her today and we will find a way forward because her objective is the objective of the INDIA bloc which is to defeat the BJP resoundingly in West Bengal and convincingly in other parts of the country,” he said.

Ramesh said the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra would be immensely strengthened by her presence.

“Without her, we cannot fight the BJP in Bengal and the rest of the country. She is the integral, essential pillar of the opposition bloc INDIA. She has played a crucial role in making the INDIA bloc a reality,” the Congress leader said.

Ramesh’s remarks came after Gandhi expressed confidence in the unity of the opposition INDIA bloc in combating injustice nationwide.

The ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra,’ led by Gandhi, entered West Bengal on Thursday from Assam through Bakshirhat in Cooch Behar district. It will take a two-day break on January 26-27 before restarting on January 28.

Banerjee had told reporters on Wednesday, “I had given them (Congress) a proposal (on seat sharing) but they refused it at the outset. Our party has now decided to go it alone in Bengal.”

After Banerjee’s sudden comments, the Congress has adopted a conciliatory approach with Ramesh asserting that the opposition bloc INDIA “cannot be imagined without Mamata Banerjee”.

The CPI (M)-led Left Front, Congress, and the TMC are part of the 28-party INDIA bloc.

In the 2019 elections, the TMC secured 22 seats, Congress won two, and the BJP bagged 18 seats in the state.

TMC had previously allied with the Congress in the 2001 assembly polls, the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, and the 2011 assembly polls, leading to the ousting of the CPI (M)-led Left Front government of 34 years.

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