Why split votes when you can’t win? Mamata’s poser to Congress in UP

Mamata Banerjee believes that the Congress is being foolish by trying to eat into SP votes even when it knows it can’t win

A united front against the mighty Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has always been Mamata Banerjee’s dream. Though it remains a dream, the Trinamool Congress party supremo has always made it a point to remind like-minded parties about the need for such a front.

However, the largest and oldest party, the Congress, has not yet been convinced about the idea. The Congress party is not willing to give up leadership position, and so Mamata Banerjee’s idea has not found much enthusiasm among the Congress party leadership in Delhi.

Mamata Banerjee who arrived in Uttar Pradesh state to campaign for ally Akhilesh Yadav, did not hide her aversion for the Congress party. Calling upon the grand old party to extend support to Samajwadi Party, the West Bengal Chief Minister added that she had been trying to persuade the Congress party to join hands with her and the allies, but its leaders never listen.

Congress can’t win in UP, says Mamata

Pointing out that the Congress will not at all win in Uttar Pradesh, she advised the party to ally with the Samajwadi Party and be on the winning side. She cautioned the Congress party that it is foolish to split votes by eating into others’ votes even as it knows it wouldn’t   win in UP.  Showering praise on Akhilesh Yadav, the Trinamool Congress supremo said that the Samajwadi Party chief has been doing well with voters lining up behind him. She said he has a chance of winning.

Mamata Banerjee’s hatred for the Congress isn’t new. The latest episode that irked her was when the Congress had termed the Trinamool Congress an ‘untrustworthy ally’ who wanted to grow at the Congress’s expense. This came after Trinamool Congress had called upon the Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to form an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in Goa for the state’s Assembly polls. The Congress not only ignored the call, but also snubbed the TMC calling it untrustworthy.

It is common knowledge that Mamata Banerjee wants to bring together all like-minded parties under one umbrella so that they can put up a strong fight against the BJP when the next Lok Sabha polls arrive. Many parties have responded to the call, but the Congress has been trying to ignore Mamata’s requests. The Congress wants to go solo, but Mamata and the TMC have been urging it to join the alliance in the interest of opposition unity. Mamata feels that the Congress is being arrogant, and said that it would be in the interest of the nation that all anti-BJP fronts should come together.

TMC sees SP as a strong ally

In Uttar Pradesh, the Trinamool Congress sees a strong ally in the Samajwadi Party, and that explains the Bengal Chief Minister’s arrival in the state to campaign for the SP. It may be recalled that she had   campaigned for Akhilesh Yadav in 2017 too, though the results favoured the BJP then.  Also, when Mamata Banerjee had fought the West Bengal election last year, Samajwadi Party’s MP Jaya Bachchan was among the star campaigners for Banerjee.

The Congress party looking away when the call for a united front is made leaves the TMC leader flustered. Her efforts to convince Sonia and co have failed. And now she would not want to persuade the Congress anymore.  It looks like Mamata believes that alliances with regional parties is one way of putting up a united front. And she is doing it well, as of now.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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