Bengal BJP chief does U-turn, says remarks on Mamata's PM prospects were made in jest

The Congress, however, said the statement was "sort of an admission" from the state BJP chief, who probably knew that the chances of the saffron party returning to power in 2019 were slim.

Published: 06th January 2019 03:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th January 2019 07:23 AM   |  A+A-

Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOLKATA: After saying that Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee is currently the only one who has a chance of becoming the first Bengali prime minister of the country, Bengal BJP chief did a U-Turn on Sunday.

Ghosh said that his remark on Banerjee’s prime ministerial prospects was made in jest, even as the opposition claimed that the statement betrayed a “tacit understanding” between the two parties.

On Saturday, extending his birthday wishes to Banerjee, Ghosh said she “needs to remain fit” because she was currently the only one who had the chance of becoming the first Bengali prime minister of the country. “When reporters asked whether I would like to make any comment on Mamata Banerjee, I just extended my best wishes to her. Whatever I said about her prime ministerial prospects was just a joke. I was joking,” Ghosh said, adding that his remark should not be taken “seriously”.

“Anyone with a bit of political sense can very well say that Mamata Banerjee can never become the prime minister with the number of Lok Sabha seats she has. The BJP will return to power and Narendra Modi will be PM,” he said.

The Congress, however, said the statement was “sort of an admission” from the state BJP chief who probably knew that the chances of the saffron party returning to power at the Centre after this year’s general election were “slim”.

“The statement reflects two things — a covert understanding between the BJP and the TMC, and that attempts to forge federal fronts are ploys to divide the opposition,” senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Abdul Mannan said.

CPI(M) said the “tacit understanding between the TMC and BJP is now out in the open.”

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