“Part Of INDIA,” Says Mamata Banerjee. “Don’t Trust,” Adhir Ranjan Responds

On Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee – who had seemed to put her membership of the INDIA bloc on hold – said she would provide “outside support” in the event the group won the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

Kolkata: The Congress’ Bengal chief, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on Thursday, weighed in on the ‘is she, isn’t she’d debate over Mamata Banerjee‘s membership of the INDIA bloc, shortly before the Chief Minister said she remains a key part of the opposition grouping, which she called her “brainchild.”

Mamata Banerjee – who had seemed to put her membership of the INDIA bloc on hold
  1. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury expresses distrust in Mamata Banerjee’s commitment to the INDIA bloc, citing her past departures and potential shift towards BJP.
  2. Mamata Banerjee reaffirms her support for the INDIA bloc, calling it her “brainchild” and offering “outside support” if the alliance wins the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
  3. The debate comes amid significant advances by the opposition bloc in the ongoing elections, with Chowdhury suggesting Banerjee’s change of stance follows a perceived weakening of the BJP.


Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Congress’ Adhir Ranjan (File).

On Ms. Banerjee’s comment about providing “outside support” if the group wins the election, Mr. Chowdhury declared, “I don’t trust her… she left the alliance. She can also go towards the BJP.”

“What she will do from outside (the alliance) or inside… I don’t know. That you have to ask her,” the Congress leader told reporters, “But I don’t trust her. She left the alliance… she could even run to BJP.”

Mr. Chowdhury – who shares a contentious relationship with Ms. Banerjee, a fact underlined by her recent statement that “… INDIA alliance doesn’t count Bengal Congress…” – also said, “Whatever complaints she has (about the bloc) she should have raised earlier when it was created.”

Mr. Chowdhury further pointed out that her apparent U-turn came after polling for nearly 70 percent of all Lok Sabha seats, with the opposition bloc claiming significant advances in its bid to oust the ruling BJP.

“They (referring to the BJP) were talking about destroying Congress and that Congress would not get 40 seats… but now (what) she is saying means Congress and INDIA are coming to power,” he said, suggesting Ms. Banerjee’s change of stance followed a realization that the BJP might likely be defeated.

A day earlier, Ms. Banerjee – who had put her membership of the bloc on hold after public disagreements over seat-sharing deals – declared she would provide “outside support” in the event of an election win.