West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has reached out to Congress and CPI(M) seeking their support in her fight against the BJP in the state. However, in a turn of events, the two parties rejected her appeal stating that her policies are responsible for BJP's growth in the state.
Mamata Banerjee was speaking during the debate on the governor's address in the state assembly when she urged the Opposition Congress and CPI(M) to join hands with Trinamool in its fight against BJP, saying that the saffron party is trying to run a parallel government in West Bengal.
"The people of the state are witnessing in Bhatpara what happens if you vote for the BJP. I feel all of us (TMC, Congress and CPI-M) should come together in the fight against the BJP. It doesn't mean we have to join hands politically. But on common issues at the state and the national levels, we can come together," she said.
The Trinamool supremo further called for all the 23 opposition parties to unitedly fight against malfunctioning of EVMs.
"Before elections we (opposition parties) had tried to raise our voice against the use of EVMs. We had even approached the Supreme Court, but it didn't yield any result. We can take up the matter again and move court," Banerjee added.
Responding to Mamata's appeal, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan hit out at the Trinamool chief, blaming her for BJP's inroads in Bengal.
"We don't need lessons from Mamata Banerjee on ways to fight the BJP. It is due to her policies that the BJP has gained ground in Bengal. She should first accept that it is due to her fault that the BJP has made inroads in Bengal," the Congress leader said.
CPI(M) legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty also expressed similar views to the Congress leader.
Meanwhile, State BJP president Dilip Ghosh reacted to the Trinamool Chief's appeal to the Opposition, saying that 'it is a reflection of the 'fear psychosis' that has gripped Mamata's party'.
"It only shows that the TMC and Mamata Banerjee are afraid about the growth of the BJP in Bengal. She has very well understood that she is going to lose the next assembly elections in the state. The CPI(M), Congress and TMC have been together at the national level so we are not at all afraid if they join hands in the state. Rather, it will act as an advantage for BJP in Bengal," Ghosh said.
Assembly elections in West Bengal are due in 2021. The BJP had recently won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state and bagged 40.5 per cent vote share - a record jump of 23 per cent from the last general elections when it had won only two seats.
Although the TMC managed to increase its vote share by four per cent, its seat share came down to 22 from 34 in last general elections. The CPI(M)-led Left Front drew a blank, whereas the Congress tally was down to two from four it had in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
(With PTI inputs)