Kolkata, May 24 (IANS) West Bengal Congress President Somen Mitra on Thursday termed Bharatiya Janata Party’s unprecedented rise in the state in the 2019 elections as an “ominous sign” and held the ruling Trinamool Congress “solely responsible” for the situation.
“We never expected that the BJP will make inroads in Bengal to this extent. It is unprecedented in our political career. The saddest part is that it is an ominous sign for Bengal. The ruling Trinamool Congress is solely responsible for this situation,” Mitra told IANS at the state Congress headquarters here.
“Those who once strengthened the hands of BJP to weaken Congress will now find it difficult to protect their own existence. Also, BJP’s rise in Bengal means communal polarisation and religious intolerance will increase manifold in Bengal which is harmful for the state,” he added.
The BJP made stunning inroads in Bengal with the trends of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday showing that the party was leading nearly half the state’s 42 seats in the state, up from only two in 2014.
The Trinamool was ahead in 23 seats, 11 down from 34 which it had won in the last Lok Sabha elections while Congress, that had four seats last time, was only leading in two seats — Baharampur and Malda South.
Asked whether the failure to forge a seat adjustment between Congress and the Left in the state led to the massive decline for both the parties, Mitra said it certainly was a major reason.
“Yes. It is a major reason for the decline of both parties because we failed to win people’s confidence on our own. When the decision over an alliance was going on, I told them (Left) clearly that even if we are able to retain our seats, the Left would not be able to win a single seat in Bengal without an alliance,” the veteran leader said.
Mitra accused the Left of a “big-brotherly attitude” towards Congress and claimed their decision to unilaterally announce the candidates for 25 seats brought down the curtains on the swat adjustment talks.
“They had pride that their party got 23-24 percent votes in the last general elections while we got 11 percent. So they had a big-brotherly attitude towards Congress.
“I told them it was baseless because none of us had the majority. If both fail in an examination, it is irrelevant to think who got more marks. Failure is a failure. But they still announced 25 seats unilaterally. So the alliance was not possible. Hope they would understand from their mistake,” he added.