‘All parties must unite against BJP’: Mamata Banerjee ahead of visit to Goa
Political parties must unite against the divisive agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday ahead of a visit to Goa next week.
“As I prepare for my maiden visit to Goa on the 28th, I call upon all individuals, organisations and political parties to join forces to defeat the BJP and their divisive agenda” Banerjee said in a tweet. “The people of Goa have suffered enough over the last 10 years.”
Goa will elect a new 40-member assembly early next year. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress party is trying to make political inroads in Goa after retaining power in West Bengal for the second time on a huge mandate.
“Together, we will usher in a new dawn for Goa by forming a new govt that will truly be a govt of the people of Goa and committed to realising their aspirations! #GoenchiNaviSaka,” she tweeted on Saturday.
In September, the TMC had sent a team of senior leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien and Lok Sabha MP Prasun Banerjee, to Goa to assess the political situation before taking a plunge.
Former Goa chief minister and veteran Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro joined the party on September 29 this year. On Friday, the TMC appointed Faleiro as vice president. Earlier this month, boxer Lenny Da Gama and footballer Denzil Franco joined the party.
Political strategist Prashant Kishor has been working with members of Indian Political Action Committee team to boost the party’s footprint in the coastal state and help it gain footprints ahead of the assembly elections.
The state opposition was critical of Banerjee’s move in Goa.
“Political parties are uniting against Mamata Banerjee. So she must fight that first before asking political parties to unite against the BJP,” state BJP leader Rahul Sinha said.
Even as Mamata Banerjee was calling for opposition unity, her nephew Abhishek Banerjee attacked the Congress party on Saturday at a political rally in West Bengal.
“For the last seven years Congress has been losing against the BJP. The TMC is winning against the BJP. The Congress had sometimes made settlements with the BJP to defeat the TMC, while sometimes it had forming alliances with the CPI(M) and Indian Secular Front. The party has no ideal and hence has no place in Bengal,” he said.
The Congress lashed out, saying that the TMC should keep electoral arithmetic in mind before taking on the BJP.
“The TMC should keep in mind the national electoral arithmetic in which the Congress still holds 20% of the vote. Without the Congress, the TMC, which just has around 4% votes, won’t be able to fight the BJP,” said Adhir Chowdhury, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha. “Attacking the Congress would strengthen the BJP. It seems that the TMC doesn’t want to actually fight the BJP.”
Abhishek Banerjee, who was appointed as the TMC’s national general secretary earlier this year, announced that his party would expand its base in at least five other states, besides Goa and Tripura, and will set up working units in 15 other states ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He didn’t elaborate.