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The future of Bengal hangs in the balance: Seat-sharing crucial in Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi’s meeting.

IndiaThe future of Bengal hangs in the balance: Seat-sharing crucial in Mamata Banerjee and Sonia Gandhi's meeting.

The potential fate of the INDIA bloc in Bengal rests on the prospect of a meeting between Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee during the chief minister’s upcoming visit to Delhi next week. Despite ongoing Congress-Trinamul negotiations through various channels yielding no results so far, Mamata, during her protest in Calcutta against the Centre, stated that her upcoming visit to Delhi was “not related to political matters.”

While no official meeting has been scheduled, sources suggest that Sonia and Mamata, who share a longstanding personal bond and maintain regular communication through text messages, are likely to meet during Mamata’s February 5-6 Delhi visit.

A Trinamul MP acknowledged the slim possibility of an electoral alliance between Trinamul and the Congress at the moment but emphasized that a meeting between the two leaders could significantly alter the political landscape.

Mamata, who was a Congress leader for decades before forming her own party in 1998, had a close relationship with Sonia and the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Speculations arise about the potential impact of a Sonia-Mamata meeting, with concerns from some quarters about Mamata changing her stance on aligning with the INDIA bloc.

Despite Rahul Gandhi’s attempts to pacify Mamata and assert the continuation of the INDIA alliance, Mamata remained critical of the Congress during her protest. The high command representative, Jairam Ramesh, faced the challenging task of defending Mamata amidst ongoing attacks from her and the Trinamul Congress.

Mamata ridiculed Rahul and the Congress during her protest, accusing them of lacking courage and engaging in mere photo ops. She reiterated her decision to go solo in Bengal, citing the Congress’s reluctance to accept her offer of two seats.

While the state Congress plans to request central leadership to initiate seat talks with the Left, there is cautious optimism among Bengal unit leaders due to speculation about a potential Mamata-Sonia meeting. The CPM’s active participation in the Nyay Yatra further complicates the political dynamics in the state.

Despite the enthusiasm from the CPM, doubts persist about the electoral gains from an alliance with the Left. The resistance to Mamata from Adhir, supported by all-India general secretary Deepa Das Munshi, poses a challenge, but the state unit remains subject to the high command’s decisions.

Mamata also criticized the BJP for its “agency raj” and expressed solidarity with JMM leader Hemant Soren, condemning his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in Jharkhand. She vowed to stand by his side in protecting democracy.

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