Mamata meets Sonia, asks Congress to participate in anti-BJP alliance
Contrary to speculation, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is not working towards an anti-BJP anti-Congress front. Instead, on Wednesday, she met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and stressed that she wants Congress to be a part of the fight against BJP. Throughout the day, her political outreach consisted of meetings with AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and peeved BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Arun Shourie.
Why is the Bengal CM in Delhi?
Ever since BJP stormed to power, its national president Amit Shah has made Bengal a target. Itching to increase BJP's footprints there, Shah has doggedly pursued the saffron agenda, thus emerging as Mamata's main rival. To exact revenge, Mamata decided to form a federal third front, uniting all non-BJP parties. With this aim, she dashed off on a three-day outreach program of "informal" meetings.
Who all has Mamata reached out to until now?
In Delhi, Mamata met a string of leaders including NCP's Sharad Pawar, disgruntled BJP-ally Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut and RJD chief Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti. This led to speculation that she was aiming for a non-Congress front. However, these rumors were quashed after her meeting with Sonia. Mamata also spoke to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on the phone.
What is Mamata's agenda?
Mamata described her meetings as "political" and accused the BJP of running a government of "arrogance and revenge." She claimed, "The country wants us to fight together. Each of us should fight where we are strong like Mayawati-Akhilesh in UP, Lalu Prasad in Bihar and Congress in Karnataka." Reportedly, the alliance's dynamics will be decided after Karnataka, Rajasthan and MP polls this year.
What does this signify?
By helming efforts to forge an anti-BJP opposition, Mamata may be pitching herself as its leader. However, how effective will this front be? Normally, regional leaders' unpredictability and ego hassles have led to such coalitions collapsing. Moreover, they have often slammed Congress for playing "big brother." Only time will tell how this would unfold.
Meanwhile, as Mamata stitches a federal front, Bengal burns
Notably, as Mamata plays an active role in national politics, her state is witnessing violence. Most recently, about three people died in the riots that followed the Ram Navami celebrations. TMC and BJP tried to outshine each other's "Hindutva" agenda, leading to a frenzy.Share this timeline