Time for BJP to pack up & go: Mamata's clarion call to Oppn
New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee has again called for a united fight against the BJP-led Government at the Centre. Making a scathing attack on the saffron party on Tuesday, she also asserted that issues like demonetisation, hasty implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and bank frauds have affected people at the grassroots level and that it was time for the BJP to "pack up and go".
"Once 'Emergency' and 'Nasbandi' had swung the people's mood to anti-government and now it is demonetisation and GST that have done so," Banerjee thundered. She also insisted that there should be one Opposition candidate against the BJP in every constituency during the coming Lok Sabha elections, which are barely a year away. "All Opposition parties should work together to oust the BJP now. I urge all political parties that they should not be afraid of their (BJP's) intimidation on either CBI or ED probes," vouched Banerjee. "I respect bureaucrats and they must remember that political parties come and go. Therefore, they should not follow any specific political agenda," she advised.
The former Union Minister met a host of political leaders one-to-one at Parliament House on the second day of her visit. TRS MP K Kavita, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, BJD MP Anubhav Mohanty, DMK MP Kanimozhi met her at the AITC Parliamentary Party office. The entire TDP group, SP Rajya Sabha member and party's senior leader Ram Gopal Yadav and RJD MPs Misa Bharati and Devendra Yadav too met her in the afternoon.
During the meeting, Banerjee slammed the 'new' BJP, led by PM Modi and Amit Shah, saying, "There is a huge difference between the NDA of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and now. I was a part of that government… even now there are some good people but they are sidelined."
Expressing disgrace at the ongoing tensions over BJP's 'Ram Navami' celebrations in Bengal, she added, "There is no party in the country that is more communal than the BJP. No religion kills people. We respect all religions. Look at the history of Hinduism and the foundation year of the Bharatiya Janata Party. A 'new' Ram has been introduced now. These incidents are totally unconstitutional and against traditions. Hindustan is enormous and it has different layers of religions," Banerjee added taking a dig to the saffron party.
She also took on the ruling BJP on the leaked dates for the Karnataka Assembly polls. "The Election Commission doesn't represent any individual political institution. It is 'misusing' the institution. It is a bad gesture," Banerjee observed.
Her four-day visit to Delhi assumes political significance because of her meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar. The duo met at the NCP Parliamentary Party office. Other NCP leaders Praful Patel and Supriya Sule were also present during the meeting. Even though Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is unwell, Banerjee will be meeting her at 5 pm today at Gandhi's residence here.
Congress stalwart and former Union Law Minister Ashwini Kumar, too, met the West Bengal Chief Minister separately at Parliament House, as well as senior Supreme Court lawyer and former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan.
"We all are together. Whoever has a stronghold in a specific area should work independently. In UP, if Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati stay together, nothing can beat them. Let them together call a meeting in Lucknow and we will all go," Banerjee also mentioned.