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Mamata Pitches One-on-One Formula to Sonia Gandhi, BJP Says Take Care of ‘Burning Bengal’ First

Mamata Banerjee said she told Sonia Gandhi that she wants the Congress to be a part of the united opposition.

Updated:March 28, 2018, 10:57 PM IST
Mamata Pitches One-on-One Formula to Sonia Gandhi, BJP Says Take Care of ‘Burning Bengal’ First
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: In a bid to forge opposition unity, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and stressed the need for the Congress to be part of a front to take on the BJP.

The meeting took place at Gandhi’s 10, Janpath residence and lasted for around 20 minutes. During the meeting, the two leaders are understood to have discussed the present political scenario and the strategy to defeat the BJP in the next general elections and in various state elections due this year.

"I told Sonia ji, we want the Congress to be part of the united opposition," Banerjee told reporters after the meeting. She also said that she wanted the Congress to win Karnataka, as it was strong there. "I am 100 per cent sure, when there is one single fight, the BJP will go," she said.

"I have told Sonia ji what the country wants is that there should be a state-wise one-to-one fight against the BJP. Whichever party is the strongest in the state should contest in that state against the BJP,” she said.

"I have also discussed this issue with Sonia ji. The talks which we are having with the regional parties, we are trying to work together....We want the Congress also to be part of that," Banerjee added.

After today's meeting, she also alleged that in a bid to "finish democracy in the country, the BJP is spreading atrocities". "Apart from political vendatta, the BJP does not do anything for the people of the country," she claimed.

The West Bengal chief minister said the Congress should also help the "one-on-one fight" in the states and added that parties which had an alliance with the Congress would carry on with the tie-ups. "Lalu (Yadav) ji and Sharad (Yadav) ji have an alliance with the Congress. Their alliance will continue," she said, adding that the opposition party which was the strongest in a state should be supported by the others to oust the BJP.

The chief minister is in Delhi to hold talks with various parties in a bid to form a united front against the BJP and bring together opposition parties on one platform. She also met a host of other opposition leaders during her two-day visit, including NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and leaders of some regional parties, including NDA ally Shiv Sena.

The BJP was critical of Banerjee, with Union minister Prakash Javadekar slamming her for the incidents of violence during Ram Navami processions in West Bengal. Javadekar alleged that while her state was "burning", she was "doing politics" in the national capital.

Peaceful Ram Navami processions were attacked by Trinamool Congress (TMC) "thugs" in the state, Javadekar told reporters here.

"Bengal is burning and Mamata is doing politics in Delhi. It is like Nero fiddled while Rome was burning," he said and showed pictures of alleged violence that took place during the processions.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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