The Trinamool Congress on Thursday said that the Congress should merge with it and fight the Bharatiya Janata Party under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, PTI reported. The party’s comment comes after Congress’s dismal performance in the 2022 Assembly polls.

“TMC has shown how you can put up a fight against the BJP and defeat it,” Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim said, according to PTI. “It is high time that Congress merges with TMC and fights under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee.”

Banerjee, referring to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, said, “If the Congress wants, we can all fight together,” reported ANI. Banerjee alleged that winning the Assembly elections in four states will be a “big loss for the BJP”.

She also dismissed as “impractical” the idea that the 2022 election results had set the tone for the General Elections in 2024.

The Congress could only win 55 of the 690 seats spread across the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa in the results declared on March 10.

In Punjab, Congress lost to the Aam Aadmi Party. In Uttar Pradesh, the party could only win two seats out of 403 seats. It also failed to wrest power from the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

On Thursday, Hakim said he failed to understand the reason behind the Congress’s defeat.

“I do not understand why such an old party like the Congress is disappearing,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “We were also part of this party.”

Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that a leader like Banerjee is required to fight against the BJP. “We have been saying this for a long time that Congress in its present form is not suited to fight against the BJP,” he said, according to PTI.

West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, however, said that “agents of BJP” should not advise the party on how to fight against the BJP.

“The TMC is the biggest agent of the BJP,” Chowdhury said, according to The Indian Express. “If they are serious about fighting against the BJP, they should merge with the Congress.”

Push for forensic test of EVMs: Banerjee

Referring to the Samajwadi Party winning 111 seats in Uttar Pradesh, Banerjee alleged that there had been “loot” of electronic voting machines and “malpractices”, according to ANI.

She said Samajwadi Party President should not be disheartened but instead push for foresnic tests of the electronic voting machines.

The matter of alleged EVM fraud was raised by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on March 8. He had accused the district magistrate of Varanasi of transporting electronic voting machines without informing the candidates. Yadav said this amounted to a “theft” of votes and urged the Election Commission to look into the matter.