Mamata Banerjee meets Opposition MPs, backs anti-BJP front ahead of 2019 polls

Mamata Banerjee is expected to meet Sonia Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in the days to come.    

Mamata Banerjee meets Opposition MPs, backs anti-BJP front ahead of 2019 polls

New Delhi: In further boost to the talks of forming an anti-BJP front, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met leaders from Shiv Sena – an NDA ally - as well as MPs from several opposition parties including NCP and TRS led by K Chandrashekhar in the national capital.

She was also due to meet ailing former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, however, she could not meet the latter as is still recovering from her illness.

Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Mamata said, ''Yes, Sonia Ji is unwell right now and recovering. I will meet her once she is fine.''

She also talked about her plans to meet sidelined BJP leaders - Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha, and Arun Shourie and expressed her readiness in meeting the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) central leadership if she is invited for talks.

''Tomorrow, I will meet Shatrughan Sinha Ji, Yashwant Sinha Ji, and Arun Shourie Ji. Will certainly go and meet them (Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) if they call us for a meeting to Lucknow,'' Mamata said.

She also attacked the Narendra Modi government at the Centre during her press briefing and said that the NDA regime has lost its credibility due to its faulty decision of implementing the GST and noteban.

''By introducing GST and Demonetisation, this government has lost all its credibility. There is no privacy, democratic rights for people. With money, the government is misusing technology for their gains,'' the West Bengal Chief Minister said.

''Issues like demonetisation and bank frauds have affected people at the grassroot level and it was time for the BJP to pack up and go,'' the TMC chief said.

Reacting on the leaked election dates of Karnataka Assembly polls, Banerjee said all institutions were becoming BJP institutions as the saffron party was "using and misusing" multiple agencies.

Attacking BJP over its Hindutva politics, the TMC chief said that ''there is no bigger communal party in the country than the BJP. They bring disrespect to the meaning of Hindutva.''

She, however, asserted that all opposition parties should work together to oust the saffron party.

The TMC chief earlier met Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar at the Parliament. 

"When political people meet then, of course, they will discuss politics, there is nothing to hide in that. The Lok Sabha election of 2019 will certainly be very interesting," Banerjee told reporters after the meeting.

The firebrand TMC leader also met Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. During her meeting with the Opposition leaders, Mamata discussed the current political situation. 

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is keen on a third front, had met Banerjee earlier this month. 

The Trinamool Congress chief is also expected to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the days to come.

Mamata's meeting with estranged BJP allies - Shiv Sena and TDP - and TRS and NCP MPs comes at a time when the Opposition parties have together to press for a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government in the Lok Sabha.

Notably, BJP's embittered ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has already announced to break the alliance before the general elections 2019.

 

Banerjee – a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi-led disposition at the Centre - is seen as a key player in a possible grouping of non-BJP political parties ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections.

Former Congress and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is at the forefront of the efforts to form an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in order to topple the Narendra Modi juggernaut.

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