Taking another step towards the formation of a federal front, chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is sending her representative, senior MP and former number two Mukul Roy, to Lucknow to attend the foundation day celebrations of the Samajwadi Party on November 5. Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal are supposed to be present on the occasion.
The move comes in the wake of Mamata’s decision to speed up the formation of a federal front of opposition parties to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“There is a need across the country to form a federal front against the oppression of the BJP. In order to evict the saffron party from Delhi, we need a good number of MPs and Uttar Pradesh is the state that sends maximum number of MPs to Parliament. Above all, like Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party also has a secular image. So prior to forming a federal front, the parties need to connect and find a common ground. Therefore, our party has decided to send Roy to the event,” said a senior leader of Trinamool Congress.
The Samajwadi Party had, however, invited Mamata Banerjee to attend the event.
Incidentally, Mamata’s desire to play a bigger role in national politics was evident on May 27 this year, the day she took oath for the second time as chief minister. All the prominent leaders who can be members of the so-called Third Front — Nitish Kumar, Laloo Prasad, Akhilesh Yadav, Farooq Abdullah, Arvind Kejriwal and K Kanimozhi — were present at the swearing-in ceremony. Later, Mamata remarked that she will be happy to push for a non-BJP, non-Congress front.
Already, Lalu Prasad, the former chief minister of Bihar and the president of RJD, has confirmed he will attend the 25th foundation day of Samajwadi Party. According to Trinamool insiders, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal are supposed to attend the event.
Trinamool has already decided to publish a booklet wherein it will make its stand on cow politics, love jihad and ghar wapsi clear. All these are issues close to the heart of the ruling party at the Centre.
“The government of Uttar Pradesh has been facing a lot of trouble because of these issues. There has been some communal problems too. We have also decided to publish a booklet where we will raise these issues, the fiscal problem and BJP’s move to impinge on the federal structure of the country by abolishing the Planning Commission and trying to track every expenditure of the state government. These issues are not just the problems of Bengal but that of all states across the country,” the leader said.
He hinted that if possible, Roy can conduct brief meetings with the leaders in Uttar Pradesh.
“But everything will depend on the discretion of Mamata Banerjee,” the leader said.