‘Delhi chalo’: Is Mamata Banerjee emerging as the leader of the ‘Third Front’?
Kolkata, March 6: Political activities in the country are heating up post-election results of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has clearly emerged victorious. While the BJP has got a clear mandate to rule over the former Left bastion, Tripura, in Meghalaya and Nagaland, the BJP is forming a government with its alliance partners.
Amid ever-growing political clout of the BJP, parties like the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and others are working towards a plan to come up with a national front minus the Congress to challenge the might of the saffron party in the all-important 2019 General elections.
Recently, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao came up with the idea of a national political formation without the BJP and the Congress. He immediately got support from his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and a few others, including Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi.
Now, reports say Mamata has spoken to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin for coordination in and outside Parliament. The TMC claims that Mamata is taking a lead in defeating the BJP by talking to "federal" parties.
"We are on track", TMC Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien said. After calling up TRS chief Rao, Banerjee held telephonic conversation with Stalin, O'Brien said, adding there was "good coordination" between TRS, TDP, SP, BSP, TMC and DMK in Parliament on various issues today.
Mamata on Monday said the TMC's target was Delhi and the Red Fort and asserted that the BJP will never succeed in its efforts to win West Bengal. After Tripura's massive victory, the BJP's top leaders, including its chief Amit Shah, stated that now they are set to win power in West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka and Kerala.
"Some are saying that the BJP's next target is Bengal. But for the sake of the country we have set our target on Delhi, on Lal Quila (Red Fort)," she told a public meeting in Purulia, indicating that the TMC would play a major role in national politics.
"Delhi chalo... Lal Qila chalo... We believe in Netaji (Subhas Chandra Bose's) slogan. Bengal will not bow down to anyone. Bengal has always shown people the way. Bengal does not want anything and also does not support violence. It does not allow people to indulge in violence. Bengal wants the country and its people to stay well," Mamata added.
The BJP, however, has rejected the idea of any "Third Front". Senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi that the "illusory and elusive concept of the Third Front" is not a new idea. He added the Indian polity has changed much beyond "the murky waters of the Third Front".