India / TMC hints at Mamata challenging PM Modi in Varanasi in 2024 elections

Zoom News : Apr 02, 2021, 08:44 PM
Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress (TMC) tweet has triggered speculation over whether West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee would contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi or the party would field someone to challenge him in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“Didi is winning Nandigram. The question of her fighting from another seat doesn’t arise. @narendramodi Ji, retract from your efforts to mislead people before they see your lies with the end of nomination in WB [West Bengal]. Look for a safer seat in 2024, as you will be challenged in Varanasi,” the TMC tweeted late on Thursday.

The tweet came after Modi said at an election rally in West Bengal that rumours were flying that Banerjee may contest from a seat other than Nandigram, which went to the polls on Thursday, in the last phase of elections in the state.

“Didi, is there any truth in the rumour that you are going to file your nomination from another constituency? First, you went to Nandigam and people gave you an answer. If you go somewhere else, people of Bengal are ready to give you the right answer,” said Modi at the rally in Joynagar.

Banerjee opted for Nandigram instead of Bhabanipur in Kolkata to take on her former aide Suvendu Adhikari after he defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

TMC maintained Banerjee would win the contest and added Modi should apologise for spreading propaganda.

“The countdown for the 2024 polls has already started and Modi will face a tough challenge in Varanasi. The decision whether Banerjee will challenge him from Varanasi will be taken by the party and the party chief later,” said Tapas Roy, a TMC spokesman.

Banerjee late last month wrote to at least a dozen political leaders, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and called for a united and effective struggle against the BJP. She suggested a meeting of the leaders after the assembly elections to chart a plan of action.

Banerjee visited a polling booth in Boyal during the second phase of polling in West Bengal on Thursday and criticised the Election Commission for alleged inaction over complaints of rigging. She accused the central forces of intimidating voters and backing BJP candidates.

BJP leader Prakash Majumdar asked TMC to concentrate on the ongoing assembly polls first and then think about the 2024 polls later. “The TMC has turned out to be a confused and directionless party. Why is it making a laughingstock of itself.”

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who contested against Modi from Varanasi in 2014, lost by a margin of over 37,10,00 votes.