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"Mamata worried that about ED, CBI ...": Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on TMC going solo in Lok Sabha polls

Murshidabad (West Bengal): After the Trinamool Congress (TMC) dumped Congress by announcing its candidates for all 42 seats in West Bengal, including a surprise nomination for Yousuf Pathan from the Berhampore Lok Sabha seat for the upcoming polls, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday claimed that chief minister Mamata Banerjee is fearful of PM Modi.

"Mamata Banerjee is worried that if she joins the INDIA Alliance, she will have to face Modi. She is worried that if the ED and CBI start visiting TMC on Modi's orders, it could pose a risk to the TMC party. So, by distancing herself from the alliance, Mamata Banerjee is sending a message to Modi's office: Don't be upset with me; I'm not part of the alliance and I won't compete with the BJP," he said.

The Congress leader also claimed that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's main aim is to defeat Adhir Chowdhury at any cost, even if it means BJP winning.

"Adhir Chowdhary must be defeated at any cost. Mamata Banerjee has no problem if the BJP wins instead, that's why Yusuf Pathan was nominated from here," he said.

Yousuf Pathan has been fielded from Berhampore, where Congress heavyweight, Adhir Chowdhury is a sitting MP.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has fielded Mahua Moitra, the expelled Lok Sabha member, from Krishnanagar.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, announced the TMC candidates at a show of strength in the heart of Kolkata on Sunday.

As expected, Abhishek Banerjee is on the TMC ticket from Diamond Harbour, while former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan has been fielded from Berhampore. He will be pitted against Congress heavyweight Adhir Chowdhury.

Mahua was expelled as a Lok Sabha MP on December 8 following the report by the Parliamentary Ethics Panel in connection with the alleged 'cash-for-query' case.

The announcement of candidates also put to rest all lingering hopes of a seat-sharing pact with the Congress in the state. However, despite not allying with Congress, the TMC continues to be an ally of the grand old party in the INDIA bloc.

In the previous Lok Sabha polls, the TMC won 22 seats, while the BJP sprung a major surprise, winning 18 seats. The Congress won the remaining two seats.

In 2019, the BJP-led National Democratic (NDA) won a total of 303 seats, leaving the grand-old party behind at 52 seats.

The Lok Sabha polls are expected to be held in April-May this year.

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