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Congress still open to alliance in West Bengal, says Jairam Ramesh

TMC Congress

Kolkata: Even as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) decides to field candidates for all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the Congress stated on Sunday that the doors remain open for an alliance with the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC for the upcoming general elections.

Jairam Ramesh, Congress General Secretary and in-charge of communications, expressed hope, stating that they believe Mamata Banerjee's priority, when she mentions being part of the INDIA alliance, is to defeat the BJP. Ramesh remarked in Gwalior, "We take that as a statement of her priority and intent."

He emphasized that no doors have been closed, mentioning that despite Mamata Banerjee unilaterally declaring her intent to contest all 42 seats in West Bengal, talks are still ongoing, and the doors are open. Ramesh asserted, "The final word will not be said till the final word is said."

Regarding the joint opposition rally in Patna, Ramesh highlighted its significance, showcasing opposition unity against the BJP and its allies. He mentioned that Rahul Gandhi, the former Congress president and Wayanad MP, temporarily paused his ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' to participate in the rally, and Congress President Malliarjun Kharge will also be part of it.

Ramesh clarified the change in Rahul Gandhi's yatra schedule, explaining that the 50th day will include an interaction on the Agniveer issue and a road show in Mohna. However, the yatra will resume on the 51st day from Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh.

Responding to questions about Lok Dal's participation in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Uttar Pradesh, Ramesh distinguished between the "real" Lok Dal, which welcomed Rahul Gandhi, and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which he referred to as the "nakli Lok Dal."

When asked about Rahul Gandhi's potential contest from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, Ramesh mentioned that it's under discussion, and Rahul Gandhi will decide on the seat.

Regarding the BJP's declaration of 195 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, Ramesh declined to comment, emphasizing that their focus is on finalizing their manifesto, candidates, and seats in different states.

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