New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday said West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s decision to “go solo” in the Lok Sabha polls is a sign of her desperation and “death knell” for the INDIA’ alliance of the opposition parties.
In a major setback to the opposition INDIA bloc, Banerjee earlier in the day announced that her party has decided to go alone in West Bengal in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Reacting to the development, BJP co-incharge for West Bengal and IT department head Amit Malviya said in a post on X, “Mamata Banerjee’s decision to fight alone in West Bengal is a sign of desperation. Unable to hold her political ground, she wants to fight all seats, in the hope that she can still be relevant, after the polls.”
“Much against her desire to emerge as the face of the Opposition alliance, no one ever proposed her name. Her several trips to Delhi, to build a national profile, didn’t work. She just couldn’t hide the blood of post poll violence and rid herself of the nauseating stink of appeasement politics, Malviya said.
“An embarrassed Mamata, to save face, pitched for Mallikarjun Kharge, ruling herself out in the process. She realised, despite her bluster, she had no currency in the Opposition camp and had been building ground to snap out for long. But the fact that her announcement to go solo comes just before Rahul Gandhi’s circus arrives in Bengal is a death knell for the I.N.D.I. Alliance,” he added.
BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli said it is a “paper alliance” and Banerjee’s comments have made it clear that it has no clarity in its agenda and no leadership.
Taking a jibe at the TMC and INDIA bloc of opposition parties, another BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said, “Before political marriage could fructify Talaq is done, Mamata didi declares no alliance in Bengal.”
“On one hand Ram Mandir (was) built, but INDI structure demolished on a daily basis,” Poonawalla added.
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Tejasvi Surya described the INDIA bloc as an “unnatural alliance between a snake and a mongoose”, noting that its parties have been fighting one another in different states.
The Left and the Congress fight in Kerala, and the AAP and the Congress fight in Punjab and Delhi, he told reporters, adding that such an “unnatural” alliance is bound to meet a “natural” death.
This alliance was a “non-starter” from the first day, the head of the BJP’s youth wing said.
In a surprise move, Banerjee on Wednesday announced that the TMC would go alone in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, citing disagreement with the Congress over seat-sharing issue.
“I had given them (Congress) a proposal (on seat-sharing), but they refused it at the outset. Our party has now decided to go alone in Bengal,” the TMC supremo said.
The Congress, meanwhile, said no one can imagine the existence of the opposition INDIA bloc without Banerjee.
Addressing a press conference at North Salmara in Assam as part of the party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is an “important pillar” of the opposition alliance.
“No one can imagine the INDIA alliance without Mamata ji. The INDIA bloc will fight the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal and all (partners) will participate,” he said.
“Banerjee said that defeating the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls is the prime responsibility of all of us,” Ramesh added.
According to sources, the TMC’s offer of two seats to the grand old party based on its 2019 Lok Sabha elections performance, triggered tension among them, as the arrangement was deemed insufficient.