April 21, 2018

Mamata pitches for common front against BJP

28 March 2018, 01:04 | Lionel James

TRS chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao met Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata last week

TRS chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao met Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata last week

The chief minister also said "there's no party in the country that's more communal than the BJP", even as she took on saffron party for announcing the Karnataka poll dates before the Election Commission's official announcement.

Ms Gandhi didn't get around to meeting Congress' Sonia Gandhi because she had left the parliament complex.

Banerjee is now on a four-day visit to Delhi. The only leader Banerjee walked down to meet at his party office in Parliament House was NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

Asked if other leaders agreed with her, she suggested that everyone agreed that this is how the opposition should go about prepping for the 2019 elections to minimise the division of anti-BJP votes.

Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said that the state administration permitted certain organisations that celebrate Ram Navami for more than a decade to conduct processions with traditional weapons but those who resorted to hooliganism in the name of religious rallies, will be prosecuted under the Arms Act.

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According to a senior NCP leader, who did not want to be identified, Banerjee at the same time favoured a front without involving the Congress. "All opposition parties should work together".

On the issue of opposition unity, Banerjee hailed the alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh and said that all opposition parties should come together to help the alliance. "Will certainly go if they (Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) call us to Lucknow", she said. "I have said I will meet Soniaji".

In her interaction with DMK MP Kanimozhi, Mamata Banerjee said that she is confident that the "DMK is coming to power" and the party has her support.

Banerjee is seen as a key player in a possible grouping of non-BJP political parties ahead of next year's Lok Sabha elections. There are of course a lot of different views on what kind of approach should be taken. Banerjee is also scheduled to attend a dinner hosted by Pawar today, where discussions regarding forging an anti-BJP front is likely to take shape. "And opposition will be starting with 69 per cent", Mr Shourie, who will be meeting Ms Banerjee tomorrow, told NDTV last week.

It is interesting to note that the Shiv Sena, which is now an ally of the BJP in the NDA government, had said in January this year that it would contest solo in 2019.

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