New Delhi, Nov 25: This is Gujarat Assembly elections season, but leaders, cutting across party lines (especially the Opposition), are talking about the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal are in forefront trying to stitch a coalition of all the opposition parties ahead of the 2019 General elections to give a tough fight to the 'invincible' Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
At a book release function in the national capital on Friday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener said that "2019 will be PM Modi versus the people", indicating that the upcoming parliamentary elections are going to be a fight between the PM and the voters of India and thus the Opposition should remain united to defeat the BJP.
The Delhi CM said that the twin reforms of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) have crushed the livelihood and hopes of small traders everywhere.
"The narrative of cows and Padmavati can be peddled, but will not hold when people's ability to earn a living is threatened," Kejriwal said.
The comment by Kejriwal was in regard to the ruling BJP's silence over attacks on Muslims over cow by cow vigilantes and the ongoing protests and threats over the Bollywood film Padmavati by several right-wing groups.
The book release event was also attended by BJP's 'rebel' and veteran leader Arun Shourie who too attacked the Modi government. The function saw the release of the book--India Social-- written by AAP's social media strategist Ankit Lal.
Shourie advocated unity among the Opposition parties to defeat the BJP, saying there must be one candidate in every seat against its nominee in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
"If you really think the country is in peril... then you must get together. There must be one candidate against people who we all believe are taking the country to a dangerous zone," stated the journalist-turned-politician.
Both Kejriwal and Shourie also attacked the government over the "suspicious death" of a judge.
Shourie, who had supported Modi in the 2014 polls before turning a critic of his government's policies, said even at the height of Modi's popularity in the last Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had got 31 percent of votes but it won due to fragmentation of the remaining 69 percent votes.
The opposition needs a minimum working programme to field a joint candidate, he said. "KC (a reference to a member of the audience) and I can write it in 15 minutes," he said.
On Friday, West Bengal CM Banerjee also gave a similar call, saying democracy is under threat under the BJP rule as she asked the Opposition parties to work together for the greater interest of the people before the next Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier, the Congress-led coalition of opposition parties kept the AAP away from it. However, now it looks like that Kejriwal and Banerjee are on the same page regarding the formation of a united opposition against the BJP.