Seeking to play a major role in national politics post-2019 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's anti-BJP plans to consolidate all secular forces became clearer with her recent move.
She lent her support to Rahul Gandhi when she tweeted that it was unfortunate that he and Manish Sisodia were stopped from visiting the bereaved family of former jawan Ram Kishan Grewal.
They should be allowed. Our representative is on his way to Delhi 2/2— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 2, 2016
Banerjee even termed the detention of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as unprecedented and tweeted -
What is happening ? Unprecedented . A CM is detained in his own State. He cannot move about freely. Unacceptable— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 2, 2016
She has also raised the question regarding the Bhopal encounter where police gunned down eight SIMI activists and said she does not agree with the "so called encounter theory".
This is all happening in the name of political vendetta. Issues like these make me deeply concerned about national integrity & unity [2/2]— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 2, 2016
Top sources in TMC said this was a tactical move against the Narendra Modi government, which is trying to fan communal tension in Bengal. Banarjee does not want a direct confrontation with the Centre.
Sources in the state's ruling party said the leadership is keenly awaiting the outcome of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, as it will indicate the political temperament of the country.
"We are waiting for the outcome of the UP polls, as the results will make a lot of things clear about which way the wind is blowing. The BJP is fast losing popularity across the country, the Congress is still in a mess. There is a vacuum in the Opposition space. As time passes, the call for the anti-BJP platform will gain momentum. We want to fill that vacuum," said a senior TMC minister on the condition of anonymity .
After the massive mandate in the Bengal Assembly polls, the popularity of TMC is on a high. But the leadership regrets that irrespective of TMC winning 34 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 polls, the party didn't have any role to play in national politics as BJP had managed a majority on its own.
"We couldn't play a major role after 2014. But the situation will not be the same after the 2019 polls. Be it a secular front or federal front, the anti-BJP front can't be formed without TMC," said a senior minister.
Another TMC MP, on condition of anonymity, said, "The vacuum in the Opposition political space is fast being explored by the BJP and other Hindutva forces. The TMC leadership is, therefore, now facing a challenge from them. TMC hopes to counter this challenge emphatically in the days to come."
Enemy of my enemy...
Mamata's approach towards Rahul Gandhi has been welcomed by the West Bengal Pradesh Congress who claimed that it's a good gesture on the part of Banerjee to lend her support towards the Congress vice president and Manish Sisodia.
Congress Leader Pradip Bhattacharya said, "I thank Mamata for lending her support towards Rahul Gandhi and for criticising BJP's fascist move."
According to West Bengal BJP, Mamata is playing politics with the death of the jawan and she is lending her support to a Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, who has declared a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of the bereaved without investigating the matter.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, "I feel that other parties are involved in this incident, otherwise the compensation amount cannot be one crore." Sinha maintained that no one can secure a space in national politics by fishing in troubled waters.
Political analysts are of the opinion that Mamata's main aim now is to strengthen anti-BJP forces tactically. Her move has therefore been welcomed by other parties, they said adding that it will help her get a place in national politics if she is capable of consolidating all the secular forces.
Edited by Jhinuk Sen