'Anybody can lead, wouldn't impose opinion': Mamata on Opposition coalition
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that Opposition parties should unite against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in view of the 2024 Indian general elections. She, however, added that anybody could become the Prime Ministerial face of such a coalition and she would not impose her "thoughts and opinions" over the issue. Here is more on this.
'I am not a political astrologer'
"I am not a political astrologer. It depends on the situation. I have no problem if someone else leads," Banerjee said at a press conference in Delhi. "I am a simple worker, I want to continue as a worker."
Banerjee to meet Sonia Gandhi, Delhi CM Kejriwal
Banerjee also said that she had spoken to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) founder Lalu Prasad Yadav on Tuesday. "We will be talking to all parties." She is set to meet Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during her ongoing visit to the capital city. Banerjee has notably often been projected as a strong contender against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Banerjee attacks the BJP over Pegasus row
Banerjee has been attacking the BJP-led central government over several key issues, most recently on the Pegasus snooping controversy. Phone numbers of hundreds of Indians, including political leaders and journalists, were allegedly hacked, according to an investigation by global media organizations. The West Bengal CM said her phone is also being tapped. "The situation is very serious, more serious than (the) Emergency," she remarked.
'Pegasus has put everyone's life in danger'
"If Abhishek's (her nephew) phone is tapped, and I am talking to him, then, automatically my phone is tapped too. Pegasus has put everyone's life in danger," Banerjee said today. The Israel-based developers of Pegasus claim they supply the spyware program only to government clients.
Next Lok Sabha polls due in 2024
Opposition parties, including Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, Gandhi's Indian National Congress, and Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, are reportedly interested in putting up a joint fight against the BJP in the next general elections. The BJP, under PM Modi, has won the past two national elections, held in 2014 and 2019. Polls for the next Lok Sabha will take place three years later.