‘Not aware’: Mamata Banerjee likely to skip INDIA bloc meetingtext_fields
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that she is likely to skip the next coordination meeting of the Opposition INDIA bloc on Wednesday. Banerjee said that she was not aware of any such meeting having been scheduled.
"I am not aware about this (the meeting). That's why I have already scheduled a programme in north Bengal. I have a seven-day programme there. Had I known, would I have kept this programme? I would have surely gone for it. But because we have no information, I am going for the north Bengal tour," she said, as quoted by NDTV.
After Mamata Banerjee's announcement, Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said that the meeting was an "informal" one.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge yesterday called for the next meeting of the opposition bloc after big defeats by the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Congress, however, won in Telangana where it ousted the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in the state assembly elections.
Banerjee had earlier said that the Congress lost the recent state elections due to a lack of seat-sharing arrangements with other INDIA members.
"Congress has won Telangana. They would have won Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Some votes were cut by INDIA parties. This is the truth. We had said suggested a seat-sharing arrangement. They lost because of division of votes," Banerjee said in an address to the West Bengal Assembly.
The Congress said it would introspect what happened in the two states it held - Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh - and Madhya Pradesh.
Kharge, according to the sources, said, "Mistakes have taken place and we will make course corrections". "Over confidence in some states and refusal to adhere to proper candidates and campaign cost us in the last few days of the elections," he added as quoted by NDTV.
Several opposition leaders, however, asserted that the results will not impact the INDIA bloc, stressing the bloc needs to work harder for the Lok Sabha polls.
The INDIA bloc meeting is being held after a gap of three months since the last one in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1 and is expected to chalk out plans for next year's Lok Sabha election.
The Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance is a coalition of 28 Opposition parties that plans to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.