ANI Photo | “Why did not Mamata put condition about me before joining INDIA?” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Hitting out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for not contesting in partnership with the INDIA bloc partners in her state, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned why the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo had not put any condition regarding him when she was striking the alliance.
“Why did not Mamata Banerjee put a condition in the beginning that if Adhir Chowdhury is in, she will not be in the INDIA bloc? Why did she not say that because of Adhir Chowdhury she was forced to leave INDIA bloc?” Chowdhury said, speaking at a joint press conference with Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Biman Bose on Sunday.
Claiming that he was made into a sacrificial goat for the failure of the INDIA bloc in West Bengal, the West Bengal Congress chief questioned why Banerjee did not speak about her opposition to him (Adhikari) earlier, especially when everyone is aware of his criticism of the TMC chief.
“I have always been critical of Mamata Banerjee. Then why did she not think of it earlier? Time and space dimension is a crucial aspect of political assessment. What is the time when the incident is taking place. And why Adhir Chowdhury is being made a sacrificial goat? Everyone knows about my opposition to Mamata Banerjee,” Adhikari said.
Adhikari claimed that Banerjee is “surrendering: herself to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to protect her nephew and party General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee from the central investigative agencies.
“You (Mamata Banerjee) are surrendering yourself to PM Modi to defend Khokababu (Abhishek Banerjee) from ED, CBI…Bengal’s Khokababu is now being washed in Modi’s washing machine just like 25 other opposition leaders were forgiven by Modi’s CBI, ED, Income Tax after they joined his party,” the Congress leader said.
Speaking about Mamata Banerjee’s earlier alliance witht he National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Adhikari said, “If you look at our country’s politcal history you may notice that in 1999, Mamata Banerjee had joined hands with BJP. She was also a Minister in their government.”
Adhikari also blamed the Chief Minister for the BJP’s increasing footprint in the state during Mamata Banerjee’s tenure.
“Secondly, the party which floursihed the most while Mamata Banerjee was in power in Bengal is BJP. In 2011, there were only 400-450 RSS branches in West Bengal. Today, the number has gone up to 12-13 thousand. So who helped the BJP?” Adhikari said.
The state Congress chief also said that both the TMC and the BJP gain if there is polarisation of votes in the state.
“In 2021 elections, only the BJP and the TMC profited. They wanted to spread the fear of CAA, NRC. They want the polarisation of votes in Bengal because only these two parties profit from it,” Adhikari said.
Continuing to establish the relation between Banerjee and the BJP, Adhikari said that the Chief Minister is an “opportunist” leader.
“The relationship between Mamata Banerjee and the BJP is well known. In Delhi, Mamata Banerjee was one of the tallest speakers at an RSS convention…Mamata Banerjee reasons that not all leaders in the BJP are communal. She says that Lal Krishna Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Rajnath Singh are not communal. The rest of them are communal…She is just an opportunist leader,” the Congress leader said.
On Mamata Banerjee’s position about her association with the INDIA bloc, Adhikari said, “She wants to oppose INDIA bloc in Bengal but when it comes to forming the government, she will again take a different stand and be part of the INDIA bloc…She is a politician who may be called persona non grata in political jargon.”
Though the TMC is part of the INDIA bloc, it does not have a seat-sharing arrangement with the other parties in the alliance, like Congress and the Left parties in the state.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC won 34 seats in the state, while the BJP had to settle for just 2 seats. The CPI (M) won 2 seats, while the Congress bagged 4.
However, the BJP came up with a much-improved showing in the 2019 polls, winning 18 seats against the TMC’s 22. The Congress’s tally dropped to just 2 seats, while the Left scored a blank

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