Mamata talks federal front with Nitish, Naveen as JD(U) mulls NDA exit
Zee Media Bureau
Kolkata/Patna: Days after calling on all regional parties to form a federal front to take on the Congress and the BJP in next year's Lok Sabha Elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday held talks with her Bihar and Odisha counterparts.
The Trinamool Congress chief said she spoke to Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik on the formation of a federal front.
"I spoke to Nitish Kumar. Nitishji is in agreement that it would be good if we come together and form a federal front. We will all talk (with regional parties) in different states," Banerjee said after a meeting with JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi in her official chamber.
"And, Tyagiji has come to talk to me on the subject," she said.
"I also spoke to Naveen Patnaik (Odisha Chief Minister) on the issue over phone today. When we talk again we will decide the venue where we will meet," Banerjee told reporters.
"We are happy. And, you know some days ago Babulal Marandi (JVM-P chief) came from Jharkhand to talk on this. Two or three other leaders came and talked with us," she said.
The revelation came amid speculation that Nitish's JD(U) is very near to quitting NDA, following the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the head of BJP's election campaign committee.
The Bihar CM, a key ally of the BJP, is opposed to Modi being projected as the PM candidate of the NDA. Modi's anointment as the BJP poll panel chief is a step towards him being named party's PM candidate eventually.
Appealing to all non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties to launch a united fight, Banerjee had said on Monday that they needed to walk together to free the country from "misrule" and "anti-people" decisions.
"Time has come for all the regional parties to come together and form a federal front in the coming Lok Sabha election.
"I appeal to all the non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties to launch a united fight to free the country from misrule and anti-people decisions, and work together to build a better and brighter India," she said in a post on her Facebook page.
"Let us stand together. Let us talk together. Let us decide a plan of action for the next Lok Sabha election," she said.
Since leaving the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance last September, Banerjee has been pitching for the all non-Congress and non-BJP parties to rally together ahead of the next General Election.