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Mamata Banerjee Calls For Grand Alliance to 'Oust BJP From India'

Mamata Banerjee alleged that the BJP was planning early Parliamentary elections next year.

Sujit Nath |

Updated:July 21, 2017, 7:53 PM IST
Mamata Banerjee Calls For Grand Alliance to 'Oust BJP From India'
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing a rally in Kolkata's Esplanade. Image: Sujith Nath
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday alleged that the BJP was planning early Parliamentary elections next year and called for a grand alliance to defeat them.

“I am hearing news that the Parliamentary polls could be held next year, before it is scheduled in 2019. They are (BJP) trying to do so. I have been hearing such news,” Banerjee said, while addressing a huge rally at Esplanade here.

“We should be prepared. If all opposition parties come together, BJP will be driven out of power,” she added.

“We are ready to support any party who are against the BJP. We are with Nitish ji, we are with Arvind ji (Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal), Lalu ji, Navin ji (Odisha CM Navin Patnaik). There will be a grand alliance before the Lok Sabha polls (in 2019). We will oust BJP from power,” she added.

She also said that Bengal is with Sonia ji and announced a ‘BJP Bharat Chhodo Abhiyan’ from August 9 to August 30.

“Once we will be united, PM Modi will get only 30% of the votes. This I am taking as a challenge. Already 18 opposition parties have come together for the presidential polls. This unity will continue and we ready to render support to any party which opposes BJP,” the Chief Minister said.

On the context of BJP Bharat Chhodo Abhiyan in Bengal, she said, “TMC workers will take out rallies and hold public meetings to highlighting the failure of BJP government. We will directly target BJP for spreading of communal violence.”

“CBI is harassing our leaders in the name of Narada and Saradha. The truth is they are harassing us because we raised our voice against GST and demonetisation. But we are not scared of them,” Banerjee said.

“Why CBI or ED (Enforcement Directorate) is not taking any action against corrupt leaders in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Why CBI is selective about taking action?” she added.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has been at loggerheads with the BJP which has been moving aggressively to claim political territory in West Bengal. The party has been steadily gaining ground in the state.

However, sources told News18 that a grand alliance is far from reality at the present moment. It will be tough to bring Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik on board. Kumar has been far more flexible when it comes to the BJP, as seen in JD (U)’s support to NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential poll. On the other side, Patnaik has been making smart political moves ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre. Also, her support to Sonia Gandhi could cost the party heavily in West Bengal as many of her party leaders may switch over to the BJP.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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