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Mamata Banerjee's Attempt at Opposition Unity Gets Slack Response

FIle picture of  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

FIle picture of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's clarion call seeking to forge a larger opposition unity against the midnight demonitisation has evoked tepid response thus far.

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's clarion call seeking to forge a larger opposition unity against the midnight demonitisation has evoked tepid response thus far.

Also Read: At Least 4 Months, Not 50 Days, Needed to Replace Demonetised Notes

Ahead of the winter session beginning Wednesday, Banerjee would be in the national capital for a march by opposition MPs to Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Taking the lead, Mamata Banerjee even dialed her fiercest adversaries to build the anti-demonitisation coalition. But CPM clearly has not fallen for the bait.


Had CPM accepted, the party would have whittled its statues to that of the B-Team of the TMC. Instead, party general secretary raked up the "sharada-narada" scams in the TMC bastion to allege what CPM calls TMC-BJP understanding.

The Left wants that the issue be first debated in Parliament before knocking on the doors of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

On the other hand, the Grand Old Party(GOP) has its own issues. The Congress and its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi have been unequivocal in their criticism of the implementation of the decision.

But the fact of the matter is that GOP remains the principal opposition party in both houses of parliament. Why would it want to concede that space to the chief minister of a province?

So quite cleverly Congress on Tuesday skirted all questions on a joint March to President Mukherjee.

Also Read: Demonetisation Has Forced Corrupt to Take Sleeping Pills: PM Modi in Ghazipur

"It's an issue which will be decided by the CPP, the Congress parliamentary party" said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

Now we come to Nitish Kumar.

The Bihar chief minister and Sharad Pawar were the two politicians who were quick to back Prime Minister's call on demonitisation. Both have prime ministerial ambitions. And both, after the initial response, have maintained a studied silence.


No politician can question government's intent of fighting black money. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Both Pawar and Nitish are patiently waiting and watching from the sidelines. They have no elections lined up in the near future.

But in UP, Mayawati and Mulayam have no such luxury. Elections are round the corner and the two regional parties have to take a stand. Both regional satraps waited for the full 36 hours to gauge the impact of the announcement. And then decided to pounce back.

It especially suits Mayawati to make this election a poor vs rich contest. For both SP and BSP, Mamata's proposal has no meaning.

Second, why would a Mulayam or a Mayawati concede the leadership position to Mamata at this point in time.

That leaves us with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. He, of course, would be meeting the West Bengal CM on the eve of the beginning of the session.

Also Read: Demonetisation: How Arvind Kejriwal Turned PM Narendra Modi's 'Kadak Chai' into Poison

Having already sought an appointment with the President, TMC, however, is trying to get token representation from all non-NDA parties.

On Wednesday, floor leaders of these parties in Parliament will meet again to find a middle path.





first published:November 14, 2016, 22:21 IST