Aim of a collective leadership: Mamata Banerjee targets BJP

Aim of a collective leadership: Mamata Banerjee targets BJP
Highlights

On Wednesday Mamata Banerjee the West Bengal Chief Minister has said that the Opposition would fight the 2019 Lok Sabha election under a collective leadership, and the first aim was to oust the BJP government from power Ms Banerjees statement to the journalists in New Delhi after she held a daylong parleys with leaders of 10 Opposition parties

On Wednesday Mamata Banerjee the West Bengal Chief Minister has said that the Opposition would fight the 2019 Lok Sabha election under a collective leadership, and the first aim was to oust the BJP government from power. Ms. Banerjee's statement to the journalists in New Delhi after she held a daylong parleys with leaders of 10 Opposition parties.

“Please don’t discuss all these things. The Prime Minister does not matter to us. I want my country to progress. I want farmers and labourers to have a good life. I want communal harmony... Pehle BJP ko haraane dijiye, phir baith kar dekhenge (Let’s first defeat the BJP, then we will sit and discuss).”

She spent the first half of the day in Parliament meeting floor leaders of several parties. Her first meeting of the day was with BJP elder L.K. Advani. After the meeting, she said, “I know Advaniji for a very long time. I went to enquire about his health. It was a courtesy call.”

In the Trinamool Congress office, packed with MPs and reporters, senior leaders walked in one after the other. The first ones to arrive were Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel. “Trinamool and Congress will chalk out floor strategies against the government, especially on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue. Mamata expressed pleasure at the Congress-Trinamool working in tandem. Congress-Trinamool will carry out joint issue-based protests,” a senior Congress leader said.

Then walked in Mr. Ramgopal Yadav. He was followed by Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Misa Bharati and Jai Prakash Yadav. YSR Congress leader Vijay Sai Reddy walked in with a single pink rose in hand. But before he could reach Ms. Banerjee, a contingent of the Telugu Desam Party, comprising former minister Y.S. Chowdary and MP Kesineni Srinivas, walked in. Ms. Banerjee told them to convey her regards to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. After the TDP delegation left, Mr. Reddy got a few minutes with her.

The other leaders who came to meet her were DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Congress leader Ashwini Kumar, Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan and BJP rebel Kirti Azad. Later in the evening, Mr. Kejriwal met her.

Marking the BJP government over the NRC update exercise in Assam, Ms. Banerjee said, “The NRC is a global issue because 40 lakh people have been deleted from a list of 2.2 crore people. Only BJP voters will have space in this country and non-BJP voters will be isolated,” she said at the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party office.

She accused the BJP of doublespeak, with one section saying there would be no harassment, while another issued threats. “Rajnath Singh says that no one will be harassed but his party says that we will push them out. Who is infiltrator? Who can be a bigger infiltrator than the people who dictate what to eat, what to wear…the ones who control media and one who interfere in judiciary too,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee quipped that she herself would fail if such an act were to be repeated in West Bengal. “Luckily I am not from Bangladesh. Otherwise they would have labelled me too ghuspaith,” she said.

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