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"TMC a pillar of INDIA alliance" says Jairam Ramesh, as Congress plays down Mamata's remarks

Barpeta: After Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's announcement that her party would fight alone in Bengal, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said that TMC is an important pillar of the INDIA alliance and the alliance cannot be imagined without Mamata Banerjee.

"You have not listened to the whole statement of Mamata Banarjee. Her whole statement is that we want to defeat BJP and we will not take even a single step back from defeating BJP. With the same feeling, we are entering West Bengal. When the journey is long, there can be some speed breakers in the path, and there can be a red light as well, but that does not mean that we should stop the journey itself. The journey continues; we cross the speed breakers, and red lights turn green," said Jairam Ramesh.

"Rahul Gandhi had clearly said yesterday that TMC, and especially Mamata Banarjee, is an important pillar of the INDIA alliance. We cannot imagine the INDIA alliance without Mamata Banerjee, and we hope that we will enter West Bengal with the same feeling of defeating the BJP as said by Mamata Banerjee," he said.

He further said that the issues would be resolved and INDIA alliance will contest in West Bengal as well, standing united.
Earlier, the INDIA bloc suffered a huge setback on Wednesday as Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said that her party declared that the Trinamool Congress would fight alone in Bengal.

"I had no discussions with the Congress party. I have always said that in Bengal, we will fight alone. I am not concerned about what will be done in the country but we are a secular party and in Bengal, we will alone will defeat BJP. I gave many proposals but they rejected them from the beginning. From then, we have decided to fight the elections in Bengal alone" the TMC supremo said.
The Bengal Chief Minister also claimed she had not been informed of Rahul Gandhi's Nyay Yatra passing through Bengal, contrary to claims by the Congress that they had invited INDIA bloc parties to join the Yatra.

"They did not even bother to inform me that they will be coming to West Bengal as a matter of courtesy even though I am a part of the INDIA bloc. So there is no with relation with me as far as Bengal is concerned" Mamata Banerjee said
"We will decide on what to do at the all-India level. We are a secular party. We will do whatever we can to defeat the BJP. The alliance does not comprise any one party. We have said that they should fight in some states and the regional parties should be left to fight alone in the other states. They should not interfere" she added.

The breakdown in Trinamool and the Congress came after state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdury continued his attack on the Bengal Chief Minister.
In a news conference on Tuesday Adhir Chowdhury claimed that in the 2011 elections, Mamata Banerjee came to power with the mercy of Congress.

"This time, the elections will not be fought at the mercy of Mamata Banerjee. The Congress defeated the BJP and TMC in the two seats that Mamata Banerjee is leaving. The Congress party knows how to contest the elections. Mamata Banerjee is an opportunist; she came to power in 2011, with the mercy of Congress," the Congress MP said.
Rahul Gandhi who is in Assam as part of his Nyay Yatra tried to quell the damage been done by the state unit chief's repeated attacks by insisting that he had a good relationship with the TMC supremo.

"The negotiations on seat-sharing is underway, I don't want to comment here. But Mamata Banerjee is very close to me and our party. Sometimes our leaders say something, their leaders say something, and it goes on. It's a natural thing. Such comments won't matter and these are not things that are going to disrupt things," Rahul Gandhi had said on Tuesday.
The Trinamool Congress reportedly was willing to offer the Congress a maximum of three Lok Sabha seats of the 42 seats in Bengal. In the 2019 elections the Congress had won two Lok Sabha seats while the TMC had won 22 seats.

With this announcement, of going alone, by Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday it appears that the doors are closed for the Congress in Bengal. For the INDIA bloc stitching together alliances has proven as stumbling block and it appears that now the alliance may not be able to put together a united front against the BJP.

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