A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed displeasure over CPI(M) "controlling" INDI Alliance meetings, the Communist Party said that it would skip Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra if TMC joined it.
According to Congress sources cited by The Indian Express, Bengal CPI(M)’s state secretary Mohammad Salim was invited by a senior All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader to join the Yatra when it enters the state.
However, Salim told Indian Express, "We made it clear we will not participate in the Yatra with any political force who helped BJP to grow their organisation in West Bengal. It is Trinamool Congress which paved the way for BJP in Bengal to expand its organisation."
Expressing support for the Yatra, the CPI(M) wants assurance from the Congress that TMC would not join it. However, the Congress is set to invite TMC as well, with a large possibility of the latter rejecting the invite.
This is because the seat-sharing talks in West Bengal are currently stalled as TMC refused to meet the Congress' five-member national alliance committee after offering two seats to the Congress, which Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury vehemently opposed.
Banerjee pointed out in her address yesterday that while the name I.N.D.I.A. was her idea, she feels sad to see CPI(M) controlling its meetings. She also expressed that "some people do not want to listen" to her on seat-sharing.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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