Success of Mamata's opposition CM meet idea depends on Congress's participation

Ms Banerjee has previously tried bringing opposition parties, barring Congress, to a united platform albeit with little success.

Published: 14th February 2022 02:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2022 02:07 PM   |  A+A-

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Sunday seemed to have made another attempt at forging a third front that excludes both BJP and Congress citing alleged Constitutional overstepping by the governors in the non-BJP ruled states, including West Bengal.

She has previously tried bringing opposition parties, barring Congress, to a united platform albeit with little success.

"The objective behind suggesting to Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin that there be a meeting of all non-BJP chief ministers is nothing new. (It is only an effort) to bring like-minded opposition parties into a new front against the BJP ahead of next Lok Sabha elections," opined noted political analyst Supriya Satyam here.

"But the success of Didi's new plan would depend on whether the Grand Old Party, which has governments in some states, comes to the front's support or not. TMC, after the recent poaching of Congress leaders in Goa, has annoyed the Congress leadership," said Dr. RK Verma, a scholar and researcher on public administration and politics.

Another bottleneck in Ms Banerjee's plan to come to the forefront of national politics with the help of a new opposition front would be the participation of the non-Congress CMs leading governments with the Congress party's support.

"If we look from accounts of sincere political assessment, Mamata Banerjee's suggestion for a meeting of all opposition CMs' meet against the Central Government and its governors' alleged Constitutional overstepping may only achieve partial success, if the Congress Party refuses to attend," Arun Kumar Pandey, a political analyst said.

Political analysts feel that Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's Hemant Soren or Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray might not agree to come to any opposition CMs meet if the Congress Party refuses to allow its CMs to participate.

Hemant Soren's government in Jharkhand and Uddhav Thackeray's government in Maharashtra are dependent on Congress's support to stay afloat.

Sources in the Congress Party, alluding to the Goa situation, said, Trinamool Congress has lost its political credibility and in such a situation, Congress wouldn't easily agree to participate in such a meeting.

Though the TMC chief, as a shrewd politician, has given Stalin the responsibility of inviting non-BJP CMs, including those from Congress to the meeting in Delhi, it doesn't look as if the move would succeed.

Last year, Mamata Banerjee had met Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on a mission to form a new non-Congress opposition front. She didn't manage to make much headway as Shivsena stressed the need to strengthen the Congress Party-led opposition against BJP.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in an interview with TNIE, had categorically said that any new opposition front without Congress Party was not possible to take on the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

On the other hand, TMC's national vice-president Pawan K Varma also in an interview with TNIE said that the present leadership of the Congress Party is not able to create a strong and vibrant opposition against the BJP.

"It is only the TMC with a charismatic leader like Mamata Banerjee, which can recreate a real Congress with other opposition parties on a national level," Varma had said, adding that the TMC was not weakening the Congress Party, rather it is recreating the real Congress through the TMC.

An internecine war of words had erupted on Twitter between Congress leader P Chidambaram and TMC MP Mahua Moitra and others over alliance formation ahead of the Goa assembly elections which take place on Monday.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra had asked the Congress Party not to consider itself as the "emperor of India".

Another fact, as some of the political observers pointed out, is that Mamata Banerjee is trying to fight her own government's uncoordinated relation with the West Bengal governor through other opposition parties, making it another political issue against the BJP.

Mamata Banerjee is reportedly not at ease with many groups in the party. Amid growing infighting within TMC, she had recently called a meeting of some senior leaders and dissolved many office-bearer posts.

It is said that her move to speak to Stalin on Sunday about the opposition CM meet has partially helped her to shift national politics' focus from her party's woes.

The TMC's reported distance from political strategist Prashant Kishor's I-Pac has also caused much news in the national media. Against this backdrop, the TMC chief has succeeded in creating another 'happening' to talk about in national politics by making the call to the DMK chief.

It is well known to all and sundry that Stalin has always lent support to Ms Banerjee whenever she called him for it in the past. His support to Didi during her face-off with CBI is a case in point.

TMC has also been working on a national plan by focusing its political consolidation in some states of South India after it failed to make much political impact in the North.

Understanding the political significance of Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections, Mamata Banerjee has come out in support of SP in ongoing assembly elections. She even visited UP and campaigned for the SP announcing that her party will contest the Lok Sabha elections in UP against the BJP.

"So, the entire effort of the TMC chief is to somehow emerge as a national leader by bringing other opposition parties together on every issue possible, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due in 2024. There is nothing new in her suggestion for a meeting of Opposition CMs on the pretext of protesting against the Constitutional overstepping by governors in non-BJP ruled states," opined Dr. Archana Kumari, a political analyst.


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