Attacks on Congress party on the rise as Rahul Gandhi moves with his Nyay Yatra


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi beats a drum as he resumes his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra from Simdega (ANI)

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Simdega (WB)  

In a surprise move, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on the Congress party, saying she doubted whether Congress would be able to secure even 40 seats in the upcoming general elections. Speaking at a public event in West Bengal, CM Mamata said, “I doubt if you (Congress) will win 40. I was offering two seats and would have let them win. But they wanted more. I said okay, contest on all 42 then. Rejected! There has been no conversation with them since.”

The CM further expressed her disappointment after learning about the Congress Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra programme in West Bengal through unofficial channels, despite being an INDIA bloc member. “They have come to do a programme in Bengal but did not even inform me as an INDIA bloc member. I got to know through administrative sources. They had called Derek to request that the rally be allowed to pass through,” the CM said.

West Bengal Chief Minister and ruling TMC supremo, Mamata Banerjee, on Thursday asserted that her party would form the government at the Centre along with like-minded regional partners after the Lok Sabha elections.

Months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the daughter of former President Pranab Mukherjee, Sharmistha Mukherjee asserted that the future of the Congress party is “nil” adding that the grand old party needs a new face, new ideas as well as leadership.

“Congress party future is simply ‘nil’ as the situation suggests. Their own INDI alliance partner Mamata Banerjee is saying that they (Congress) won’t be able to win even 40 seats… There is no future for Congress,” Mukherjee told ANI on Friday.

She further added, “In my opinion, by the time Rahul Gandhi or the Gandhi family for that matter, remains the face of Congress, its time for a new face, new ideas and new leadership won’t be sorted.”

The Congress won 52 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, while it got 44 seats in the 2014 polls.

Sharmishtha Mukherjee wrote to Rahul Gandhi on Friday to flag “vicious and continuous trolling by your supporters” following the release of her new book and comments last week about his ability to lead the party into the Lok Sabha election.

In a two-page letter posted on X, Mukherjee said she had been subject to trolling, “sometimes using the nastiest language”, and identified one social media user in particular – “Naveen Shahi, having an X handle of @Naveen_Kr_Shahi, who is followed by several senior Congress leaders…”

She further wrote that Shahi, “abused my father, Pranab Mukherjee and me in such vile language I feel nausea even to repeat it”.

She said he also posted barbaric remarks of a sexual nature aimed at her father.

“You are talking about nyay (a reference to Mr Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’). As an ordinary citizen of India, I demand nyay from you as these vile abuses seem to have originated with someone having a formal, or informal, association with your organisation. I demand nyay as a woman, and whose father, has been subject (to) the most vile abuses having sexual connotations,” she stated in a letter.

“Show that your promise of nyay is not just an empty election slogan,” she added.

But Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday reaffirmed the cohesion within the INDIA bloc, addressing Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar’s political manoeuvre. Addressing a press conference in Jharkhand’s Gumla, Rahul Gandhi emphasised the continued involvement of key members, including Mamata Banerjee, within the alliance framework.

Speaking on the alliance dynamics, Gandhi noted that while some members like Nitish Kumar have departed to join the BJP, the core essence of the INDIA alliance remains intact. “Mamata (Banerjee) is very much part of the INDIA alliance and most of the other members who are part of the INDIA alliance are still members of the INDIA alliance,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Congress using West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remarks on differences in the INDIA bloc over seat-sharing and said he prays that the opposition party is able to secure 40 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister said the Congress whose leader and policy have “no guarantee” is raising questions on his policies. “A challenge has been posed before you from West Bengal that Congress will not be able to cross 40 (in Lok Sabha elections 2024). I pray that you are able to secure 40,” the Prime Minister said.

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