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"Our alliance will be with people": Mamata Banerjee deals blow to grand Opp alliance hopes

Kolkata: In a blow to hopes of a grand Opposition alliance against the BJP at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has vowed to go it alone in next year's Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking to reporters after the ruling TMC lost the Sagardighi bypoll in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, to the Congress on Thursday, Mamata said the result exposed the "unholy alliance" of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and the CPI(M), adding that her party could and will fight all three rival political forces alone. She also accused the three parties of playing the "communal card".
"If the Congress and the CPI(M) fight Mamata Banerjee with the help of the BJP, how can they call themselves anti-BJP? All of them have been playing the communal card (to polarise voters). This is very unfortunate. This (defeat in Sagardighi) is a lesson for us, that we should no longer trust Congress or the CPI(M). We cannot go with parties that are with the BJP. Our alliance will be with the people. They (Congress) may have won the election but it is a moral defeat for them," the TMC chief said.
Further, weighing in on the TMC's loss in the Sagardighi bypoll, Banerjee said, "Of course, we lost the bypoll. I don't blame anyone. In elections, there are victories and defeats. But it is this immoral alliance between the other political parties that we strongly condemn. As part of this unholy alliance, all CPI(M) and BJP votes went to Congress. I want to ask these parties, why are you going into such alliances covertly?"
Left-backed Congress candidate Bayron Biswas won the Sagardighi bypolls, troucing the TMC's Debashish Banerjee by a whopping 22,986 votes.
Speaking on the TMC faring poorly in the Meghalaya election, the Bengal CM said, "There was some confusion in Meghalaya. Voters thought that I was also with Congress as both parties have the word 'Congress' in common. Since I was with the Congress earlier, the voters may have been confused seeing my pictures from the Congress days. We'll work to remove all confusion."
"I must congratulate the people of Meghalaya (for helping TMC win five seats). We (TMC) started (campaigning in Meghalaya) just 6 months ago and still got 15 per cent of the total votes polled. This will help enhance our national party status and also enable us to strengthen our hold on the state as the principal Opposition party. We'll do better in the next elections," the Bengal CM added/
According to the final tally of seats released by the Election Commission, the BJP crossed the majority mark in Tripura, winning 32 seats and garnering about 39 per cent of the total votes polled.
The fledgeling Tipra Motha led by royal scion Pradyut Deb Barman finished second in Tripura, winning 13 seats.
The CPI(M) and the Congress, which fought the Tripura polls together, bagged a combined count of 14 seats. The Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), an ally of the BJP, won a lone seat.
Significantly, however, the TMC could not open its account in Tripura.
The CPI(M) and the Congress, arch rivals in Kerala, came together in the Northeast this time in a bid to oust the BJP from power. However, the combined vote share of the CPI(M) and Congress was only about 33 per cent.
Earlier, Mamata had called for Opposition unity to fight the BJP in nexr year's Lok Sabha polls.
Banerjee, meanwhile, also hailed the direction of the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, to constitute a panel comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India, to select chief election commissioners.
"Only the SC, our highest judiciary and the pillar of democracy, can protect our democratic rights and save this country. The TMC had been pleading for this (direction) for a long and I am really happy that the SC issued this order. This is a victory for the people." (ANI)

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