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‘Outside support to INDIA’: Signal to whom by Mamata Banerjee?

HAVING REJECTED the INDIA bloc before the Lok Sabha polls, as well as any seat-sharing adjustment with the Left Front and Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said her party would provide “outside support” to the Opposition alliance in case it manages to form a government at the Centre.

This moderation of stance by the West Bengal Chief Minister coincides with the Opposition’s claims that the BJP will stop short of a majority, given polling in four of the seven phases over so far.

Addressing a public meeting at Chinsurah in Hooghly district, Mamata said, “We will provide leadership to the INDIA alliance, and help them in every way, from the outside. We will help form the government so that in Bengal, our mothers, sisters and those who work in the 100-days job scheme, don’t face problems.”

However, her message came with a rider — the INDIA must not include leaders from the Bengal CPI(M) and Bengal Congress as, according to her, they are “helping” the BJP. “The Bengal Congress and CPI(M) must not be counted in INDIA. They are not with us, as these two are with the BJP. Today, I am talking about Delhi,” said Mamata.

It was a significant move mid-campaign, in which the TMC chief has been aggressive against all the three parties in Bengal.

According to party insiders, the announcement of “outside support to the INDIA bloc” was with an eye on the 2026 West Bengal Assembly elections. “Even if she is a part of the INDIA bloc, she wants to send out the message that she would remain at a distance. At the same time, she does not want to oppose the alliance as it would hurt her anti-BJP stance,” a leader said.

Mamata’s comments also came against the backdrop of the BJP accusing her of “wishing a majboor

Read more on indianexpress.com