WEST BENGAL: Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) bombshell: No alliance with Congress in Bengal! Mamata declares TMC will go solo in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, rejecting Congress proposals and asserting their ability to defeat BJP alone. Congress leader Venugopal counters, insisting on an alliance despite Banerjee’s outburst.
PUNJAB: Hours after Mamata’s announcement, another blow to INDIA unity. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announces contesting all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, confirming their decision to go solo. This follows months of tension between AAP and Congress over seat-sharing and leadership roles. Congress yet to respond to AAP’s move.
Behind the Scene: These solo decisions in key strongholds highlight an ongoing dispute within INDIA regarding regional vs. national party primacy. Regional parties like TMC and AAP demand leading roles in their bastions, while Congress insists on playing a bigger part in seat-sharing negotiations.
History of Friction: Despite claims of unity at INDIA meetings, attacks and counter-attacks between Congress and regional parties have been escalating, particularly in Bengal and Punjab. State Congress units in both states oppose alliances and criticize incumbent governments, further straining relations.
Congress Losing Grip?: Regional parties emboldened by Congress setbacks in recent Assembly polls and unwilling to cede ground. Punjab Congress leader Warring confirms preparations to contest all Lok Sabha seats, indicating lack of communication from Congress high command about an alliance.
Fractured Opposition?: AAP and Congress relationship has always been fragile, highlighted by disagreements during the INDIA bloc’s Patna meeting. AAP’s “either-or” approach and Congress’ reluctance to fully support them exposed fault lines within the alliance.
Uncertain Future: Whether TMC and AAP’s solo decisions ultimately strengthen or weaken their chances against BJP and whether Congress can bridge these divides remain to be seen. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be a crucial test for the fractured INDIA bloc.