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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Mamata says TMC will not join but support I.N.D.I.A. bloc's govt from outside

The TMC supremo has been predicting over the past few days that while the BJP would get only around 190-195 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the I.N.D.I.A. bloc would win at least 315 seats – way above the majority mark in the House.
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 13:50 IST
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 13:50 IST

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that her Trinamool Congress would extend external support to the new government that I.N.D.I.A. would form at the Centre if it after the defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance in the Lok Sabha elections, but would not join it.

Her heir apparent and the TMC general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, said that the TMC would play “a decisive role” in the formation of the I.N.D.I.A. government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections.

Mamata said that the BJP-led NDA would not be able to win enough Lok Sabha seats to form the next government at the Centre and I.N.D.I.A. would come to power. “We would give leadership to the I.N.D.I.A and would extend all sorts of support to it from outside so that it could form the next government at the Centre,” she said, addressing an election rally at Chuchura in Hooghly Lok Sabha constituency of the State.

The TMC supremo has been predicting over the past few days that while the BJP would get only around 190-195 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the I.N.D.I.A. bloc would win at least 315 seats – way above the majority mark in the House.

She, however, articulated her party’s position on the formation of the new government by the I.N.D.I.A. for the first time on Wednesday.

Mamata had played a key role in bringing several opposition parties together during the run-up to the parliamentary polls, attended its meetings, and even named the bloc I.N.D.I.A. But she refused to spare more than two of the 42 Lok Sabha seats for the Congress in West Bengal. The TMC decided to go solo in all the parliamentary constituencies in the state when its offer was rejected by the Congress. The CPI (M), however, entered into an electoral understanding with the Congress in West Bengal, despite fighting against each other in Kerala.

Mamata, over the past few weeks has often accused the leaders of the Congress and the CPI(M) in West Bengal of being in collusion with the BJP to beat the TMC in the state. She reiterated the allegation on Wednesday.

“The Congress and the leftists are not with us in West Bengal. They are with the BJP here,” she alleged on Wednesday, just before stating that her party would extend external support to the I.N.D.I.A. government. She said she would extend support to the I.N.D.I.A. government to ensure that West Bengal gets funds from the Centre for the development and the welfare of the people of the state.

The Congress’s state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and the CPI (M)’s state secretary Mohammad Salim on the other hand have been accusing the TMC supremo of stalling the I.N.D.I.A. in West Bengal at the behest of the BJP to save her nephew and her party’s general secretary from the probes by the central agencies in corruption cases.

To ensure that the allegation by the Congress and the CPI(M) about her collusion with the BJP does not lead to an erosion in her party’s support base among the Muslims; Mamata, Abhishek, and other leaders of the TMC have been insisting that the party has remained a part of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance.

The TMC had in 1998 and 1999 extended external support to the NDA government that Atal Behari Vajpayee had led for 13 months. She had joined the NDA government in 1999 and continued to be a part of it till 2004. She had joined the second United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Manmohan Singh of the Congress in 2009 and had withdrawn her representatives from it in September 2012 – a few months after she had taken over as the chief minister of West Bengal.

The CPI (M) had extended outside support to the first UPA government that Manmohan Singh had led from 2004 to 2009.

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Published 15 May 2024, 13:50 IST

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