Home Top News Congress-Trinamool Seat Talks Back On After Mamata Banerjee Snub: Sources

Congress-Trinamool Seat Talks Back On After Mamata Banerjee Snub: Sources

Congress-Trinamool Seat Talks Back On After Mamata Banerjee Snub: Sources


Congress is still pushing for one more seat in West Bengal.

New Delhi:

The Congress, on a roll after sealing seat sharing deals with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, is aiming for a hat-trick, with a new formula for Mamata Banerjee. Sources said the party is hoping to get five of Bengal’s 42 seats. The downside – as in deals with AAP and SP — the Congress may have to part with seats in states where it is the main Opposition. This could involve two seats in Assam and one in Meghalaya.

But for now, the good news is the talks are back on, and moving in a positive direction, sources in the Congress said. “If consensus is reached, an announcement will be made soon,” they added.

The party, though, is still pushing for one more seat in Bengal – which is four more than Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s last offer.

For the Congress, this is a big scaling down. The party had started with eight to 14 seats and then slowly lowered the figure. But it was its insistence on six seats that had provoked the fiery Chief Minister, who in no uncertain terms, told the Congress not to over-reach.

“I told Congress ‘You don’t have a single MLA here, I am offering two MP seats and we will ensure you win in those two seats.’ They said ‘No, we want more seats’. I said, ‘Now I’m not going to give a single seat’,” Ms. Banerjee had said at a meeting in Malda earlier this month.

Then, for good measure, she added that she was putting her membership of the INDIA bloc on hold and would review the matter after the election, depending on the result.

Sources said the Congress is hoping to settle for the seats the BJP currently holds – one of them in BJP bastion north Bengal. This are apart from the ones Mamata Banerjee had offered – Berhampore and Malda South that it won in 2019.

Seats that Congress wishes to fight and Trinamool might give them are Behrampur, Malda South, Malda North, Raiganj and Darjeeling. The Congress also wants Purulia but seems unlikely.

Party sources indicated that Trinamool does not realistically expect to win back the north Bengal seats, despite their public posturing.

Over the last few days, the Congress has been rapidly finalizing the deals that had been on ice, with the intervention of its Central leadership.

Reaching out personally to Akhilesh Yadav, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has accepted the SP’s 17-seat offer in Uttar Pradesh. And today, following a meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s residence, attended by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and others, sources said the broad contours of seat sharing with AAP have been decided.

In Delhi, where AAP is in power, it will contest four seats and the Congress three. In return, the Congress will cede two seats in Gujarat and one seat in Haryana to AAP. In both states, the Congress is the main Opposition party. In Goa, AAP will give one seat to the Congress.



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