In the Trinamool Congress party’s internal meeting in North Kolkata on Thursday, senior MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said that it is West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and not Rahul Gandhi, who is the face of opposition against Narendra Modi.
“We are not talking about an alliance without the Congress. I have observed Rahul Gandhi for a long time and he has not developed himself as an alternative to Modi. The entire country wants Mamata so we will keep Mamata’s face and will campaign,” Bandyopadhyay said.
At a time when the unity among the opposition parties is on the table, Bandyopadhyay’s comment is being seen as a big statement by the TMC.
The TMC has high regard for Congress President Sonia Gandhi but when it comes to Rahul the party leaders have always expressed their reservations.
The party wants Mamata to be the face of opposition and this demand has been time and again put forward by its party leaders. Mamata, however, has so far maintained that for her opposition unity matters more than the her designation.
A quick analysis of Mamata’s Delhi tour shows that it was full of opposition unity. However, when the Parliament session started, Rahul Gandhi’s breakfast unity meet was attended by the TMC but the TMC suggested that they were more interested in opposition unity programs and did not agree to everything organised by Rahul Gandhi.
After its win in the Bengal assembly polls this year, the TMC has stressed on the point that in the big battle of 2024, Congress is a co-warrior not the boss. This sentiment was emphasised by Bandyopadhyay as well.
Speaking to News18, Congress MP Pradip Bhattacharya said, “It is too early to predict what will happen in 2024.”
Relations between the Congress and the TMC have been cordial so far and political experts believe that they may undergo several ups and downs till 2024.