Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has attacked Congress’s Rahul Gandhi in very harsh terms at an internal meeting of the party, sources have told NDTV. If Rahul Gandhi is the face of the Opposition, then then “nobody will be able to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” sources quoted her as saying.
The Chief Minister has told party workers that Mr Gandhi is PM Modi’s “biggest TRP”, sources said. The BJP, she has apparently alleged, is not letting Parliament function as they want Rahul Gandhi to “be the leader… The BJP is keen on making Rahul Gandhi a hero,” she had said.
“It is the Congress that bows before the BJP. Congress, CPM and BJP are instigating minorities against the Trinamool,” she told party workers in Murshidabad today in a virtual address from Kolkata. The Trinamool has lost a minority dominated seat to the Congress in area in the recently concluded by-election.
Earlier, Trinamool MP and the party’s Leader in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay had said the BJP benefits from Rahul Gandhi being the face of the Opposition.
Over the last several years, Ms Banerjee has been on a collision course with the Congress. The Congress is upset that the Trinamool is eating into its votes in Bengal and the northeast, where the party has contested in the recent assembly elections, but failed to win any seat.
In the run-up to the election, Mr Gandhi had attacked the Trinamool, citing the political violence in Bengal and the Saradha scam – issues over which the BJP regularly targets the party. In Bengal, Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Choudhury is the harshest critic of the Trinamool.
But matters have worsened since the Trinamool’s defeat to the Congress in Murshidabad. Both parties now routinely accuse each other of being a BJP stooge. Back-channel talks between the two parties for a united front against the BJP in 2024 have collapsed. Ms Banerjee has declared that she would go it alone in the election. The party has denied any back-channel talks.