Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday offered Mamata Banerjee to return to the grand old party if she was serious about stopping the BJP’s rise in West Bengal. He said there was no option other than Congress to stop the BJP. His remarks came just a day after TMC MP Sougata Roy said that if the Left and the Congress were genuine anti-BJP forces then they should line up behind Trinamool Congress as it was the only party which was fighting against the divisive politics of the saffron party.
Reacting to this, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the TMC now feel it will be difficult for them to survive without Congress. “They (TMC) came to power with Congress’ help but then left no stone unturned to finish Congress,” he said. The Opposition leader further said that the TMC weakened secular parties like Congress and Left in West Bengal which made a communal party like the BJP rise in the eastern state.
Chowdhury said Mamata Banerjee should return to Congress as there was no option other than Congress to stop the BJP. “If they can feel this, they should join forces under Congress’ leadership. Congress had kept secularism intact for 100 years in this nation by facing BJP and its ancestors,” he said.
Congress and the Left will contest the upcoming assembly polls together. Despite this, the contest is expected to be between the BJP and TMC. History shows that in a polarised contest the BJP beats its rivals by consolidating non-minority votes. In Bengal, Muslims are influential on 120-odd seats but Congress, Left and TMC all compete for the same voter base.
The BJP has made significant inroads in Bengal. In 2019, the saffron party’s vote share crossed over 40 per cent which helped it win 18 of 42 seats. The BJP is confident to win over 200 seats in the assembly polls. Ahead of the election, the TMC has lost some of its top leaders including Suvendu Adhikari to the BJP.