Saturday, April 13, 2024
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TMC wants Tura, offers new deal on seat-sharing to Cong

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Three seats in Bengal to Congress in return for two in Assam, one in Tura

SHILLONG, Jan 12: Making a departure from their proposal of two seats, the TMC is now making new overtures by offering 3 seats to its INDIA bloc partner, Congress, in West Bengal in return for two seats in Assam and one in Tura, Meghalaya, according to TV reports.
This indicates a significant change in the dynamic of the two INDIA bloc partners as the much-anticipated Lok Sabha polls draw nearer.
On the sidelines, top leaders of parties of the opposition INDIA bloc are scheduled to meet on Saturday to deliberate over strengthening the alliance, chalking out a strategy on seat-sharing and deciding whether to have a convenor of the grouping, sources said on Friday.
Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee will not be part of the virtual meeting on Saturday morning as she is preoccupied with prior engagements, they said.
The sources said that discussions would be held on appointing a convenor of the opposition alliance. They added that the JDU wants Nitish Kumar as the convenor which is being opposed by the TMC.
This is the second such attempt to hold a virtual meeting as the previous attempt a few days ago did not materialise, the sources added.
A TMC source said the party was informed about the meeting on Friday evening, and the West Bengal chief minister has some pre-scheduled appointments due to which she may not attend.
The TMC had also offered that the meeting could be held next week. The source added that the party remains committed to the INDIA bloc and defeating the BJP.
In a post on ‘X’, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said INDIA party leaders will be meeting over Zoom at 11:30 am on January 13, 2024. “They will review various issues like seat-sharing talks that have begun, participation in Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra that will begin from Thoubal near Imphal day after tomorrow, and other important matters,” he said.
As many as 28 opposition parties have come together under the banner of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to take on the BJP and defeat it in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
However, there are many issues which are yet to be resolved within the alliance, including that of appointing a convenor. Seat-sharing talks with members of the opposition bloc have also not been fruitful so far due to claims and counter-claims on the seats.
The sources said the leaders of the various parties would be meeting to iron out these differences and strengthen the bloc further.
It may be mentioned that a crucial meeting is scheduled to take place between the party’s Meghalaya unit and top brass in Kolkata.
The meeting will be attended by top party leaders such as Mukul Sangma, Charles Pyngrope among others, party sources said.
They also said that there is a possibility of fielding Mukul Sangma or his brother Zenith Sangma from Tura Parliamentarian seat, while in Shillong, no intentions have been stated yet. (With agency inputs)

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