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With TMC on attack mode against Congress, more confusion likely in INDIA bloc

Kolkata, Dec 9, 20223- As the Trinamool Congress has launched a multi-pronged attack against the Congress over the BJP’s landslide victories in the just-concluded Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, there is confusion in the grand Opposition INDIA bloc on the possible strategy of the ruling party in West Bengal.

There is speculation in political circles of the state that the ruling party’s “attack Congress” strategy is aimed at compelling the grand old party to agree to a seat sharing agreement dictated by the Trinamool Congress.

This “attack Congress” strategy is also prompted by the inherent desire to neutralise the Congress’ authoritative bargaining within the INDIA bloc as the biggest national party in the joint platform.

However, political observers say that the success of the Trinamool Congress’ attempts to sideline the Congress in the Opposition space will ultimately depend on how far West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s strategy will find support from other regional parties in the INDIA bloc.

Political observers say that the latest results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana hold major lessons for the entire Opposition bloc and specially the Congress.

In all four states the voters decided to opt for a national party rather than a regional party, a factor that has gone in favour of the BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and in favour of the Congress in Telangana.

“So, if the other regional parties can read these signals, I wonder how far they will toe the line of the Trinamool Congress in challenging the Congress’ authority in the Opposition bloc. So, in my opinion, the ‘attack Congress’ strategy of the Trinamool Congress will not achieve anything substantial except adding to the confusion within the Opposition bloc,” said a city-based political observer.

At the same time, the logic put forward by Mamata Banerjee while explaining the results of the Assembly polls is baffling the observers.

“She has described the BJP’s landslide victory in these three states as the Congress’ defeat and not the defeat of the people. However, after the Congress’ emphatic victory in Karnataka Assembly polls earlier this year she refused to give credit to the country’s oldest national party and had described the results as the victory of the people. So it is quite difficult for anyone to understand which of the two explanations should be accepted as the Trinamool Congress’ official stand on the Congress and the INDIA bloc. This is yet another point of confusion for the other constituents of the Opposition platform,” a political observer said.

That is exactly where a section within the state unit of the Congress in West Bengal, who are dyed-in-the wool anti-Trinamool Congress politicians, are getting the chance to claim that the actual motive of the Chief Minister and her party is to challenge the Congress’ authority and thus weaken the INDIA bloc in order to benefit the BJP.

Such state Congress leaders like Calcutta High Court counsel Kaustav Bagchi, who had been opposing inclusion of the Trinamool Congress in the INDIA bloc since the beginning, have already started claiming that the Congress’ defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh was because of their earlier efforts to join hands with “corrupt forces.”

“It is often said that while one achieves heaven in good company, one gets doomed in bad company. The results are reflection of the public sentiments against sharing the dais with thieves and dacoits. A Congress-free India will not be far if the party does not try to stand on its feet instead of depending on others like a parasite. If such a day comes, then the responsibility will be more on us than on the BJP,” Bagchi said just hours after the trend in these three states became clear last Sunday.

“A dinner-meet called at the residence of the Congress’ national President Mallikarjun Kharge was totally unrepresented by the Trinamool Congress. This gave a clear indication that West Bengal’s ruling party will remain in the attack mode for some more time. Now, it is to be seen how long the rebellion continues, since much will depend on the moods of the other regional parties on this count,” a city-based political observer said. (Agency)

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