“Not Aware”: Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool May Skip Next INDIA Bloc Meet


'Not Aware': Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool May Skip Next INDIA Bloc Meet

Mamata Banerjee has a pre-scheduled programme in north Bengal. (FILE)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may not attend the next INDIA alliance coordination meeting on Wednesday, sources said. Ms Banerjee, who said the Congress lost the recent state elections due to a lack of seat-sharing arrangements with other INDIA members, has a pre-scheduled programme in north Bengal.

Her party Trinamool Congress may also skip the meeting, the sources said, as they “were unaware” of any such meeting.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge yesterday called for the next meeting of the opposition bloc even as it was handed big defeats by the BJP in three states. The meeting is being held after a gap of three months since the last one in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.

The meeting is expected to chalk out plans for next year’s Lok Sabha election.

The BJP swept Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, handing a shattering defeat to the Congress to tighten its stranglehold in the Hindi heartland.

The only proverbial silver lining for the Congress was Telangana where it ousted the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in the state assembly elections – billed by many as a semi-final before next year’s general elections.

Earlier in the day, the Bengal Chief Minister blamed the Congress losses to its decision to fight the polls on its own which, as per her, led to a “division of votes”.

“Congress has won Telangana. They would have won Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Some votes were cut by INDIA parties. This is the truth. We had said suggested a seat-sharing arrangement. They lost because of division of votes,” Ms Banerjee said in an address to the West Bengal Assembly.

Yesterday, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah taunted the Congress for belatedly remembering the INDIA alliance. “On December 6, the Congress chief has invited some INDIA alliance leaders for lunch. They recalled the INDIA alliance after three months. Let’s see,” he said.

The Congress, a day after the drubbing, said it would introspect what happened in the two states it held – Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh – and Madhya Pradesh. Party general secretary organisation KC Venugopal said the party will also look into “complaints” of INDIA bloc partners.

“We will definitely introspect what happened in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, we had hopes of winning these states. Last election in 2018, we swept all three states, how many Parliamentary seats we got from these states? Only three seats. That is why I say every election is different,” he said.

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