NEW DELHI:Giving a push for formation of an anti-BJP front, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met a series of leaders of the Opposition parties and even NDA ally Shiv Sena, to discuss the need for a probable alliance in 2019 to defeat the saffron party in the general elections. The TMC chief’s meeting list for Wednesday included some rebel BJP leaders and a galaxy of leaders from Opposition parties.
Mamata, who has set the ball rolling for stitching up a non-BJP alliance, attacked the Centre for burdening people with demonetisation, GST and bank frauds and said it was time for the BJP government to pack up and go.Also giving a hint to the Congress to not try and become the nucleus of the anti-BJP front, she called for supporting the strongest regional parties in all states so that the saffron party can be defeated one-on-one during elections.
“This government has lost all the credentials and their credibility has become zero. You just cannot allow them to be here and now people have to decide,” she told reporters.It is not just Mamata. After pulling out of the government, TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that he would meet leaders of all political parties during his visit to the national capital on April 2-3. The meeting is likely to discuss future alliance against the BJP.
On Tuesday, Mamata met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK leader Kanimozhi, RJD MP Misa Bharti, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, TDP MPs, TRS MP K Kavitha, BJP MP Anubhav Mohanty and his wife and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MPs.The West Bengal CM said that she also wanted to meet Sonia Gandhi but she was not well and left Parliament early. “I am in touch with her (Sonia Gandhi) and ask about her health every day,” she said, adding that sometimes she also speaks to Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also met Mamata. She also has an invitation from the party to attend an event on Wednesday.On Wednesday, she is expected to meet three BJP leaders — Arun Shourie, Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha.Mamata said she is also ready to meet SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati if they call a meeting in Lucknow.
There are also reports of her meeting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. The meetings also come at a time when Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani recently wrote to three leaders, saying Mamata is his “selected heroine as the ruler of Indian democracy”.