West Bengal chief Mminister Mamata Banerjee addresses a rally on the last day of the campaign for the 2nd phase of assembly elections, in Nandigram on Tuesday, March 30. (PTI)
West Bengal chief Mminister Mamata Banerjee addresses a rally on the last day of the campaign for the 2nd phase of assembly elections, in Nandigram on Tuesday, March 30. (PTI)

Mamata calls for united front against BJP: Here’s what she told political parties

Banerjee’s letter dated March 28 was made public on Wednesday. It said a recent law bestowing more powers to the lieutenant governor in Delhi was a “direct attack” on the country’s federal structure
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON APR 01, 2021 09:28 AM IST

West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee has written to Opposition parties urging them to unite against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its government. Here is all you need to know about her letter and what prompted it:

• Banerjee’s letter dated March 28 was made public on Wednesday.

• It said a recent law bestowing more powers to the lieutenant governor in Delhi was a “direct attack” on the country’s federal structure.

• The letter suggested a meeting of Opposition leaders after the ongoing five-state assembly polls to chart a plan of action against the BJP.

• It was written days before the second phase of polls in Bengal, where Banerjee is taking on her protégé-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in Nandigram.

Also Read | Confident of his win from Nandigram, Suvendu appeals to people to vote

• The BJP is aiming to dislodge the TMC for its first election victory in Bengal while Banerjee is gunning for a third consecutive term.

• The letter was sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, DMK president MK Stalin, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Peoples Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti and CPI-ML’s Dipankar Bhattacharya.

• It was also dispatched to six chief ministers: Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Maharashtra’s Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand’s Hemant Soren, Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh’s Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana’s K Chandrasekhar Rao.

• Banerjee’s letter drew broad support from Opposition leaders but flak from the BJP, which said the move betrayed her nervousness about the ongoing polls.

• TMC insiders said the underlying message was aimed at the consolidation of anti-BJP forces in the remaining phases of the eight-phase polls.

• NCP said it extends full support to the TMC chief.

• Shiv Sena also expressed solidarity with Banerjee.

• Supriyo Bhattacharrya, principal general secretary of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, said his party was repeatedly raising the same issue.

• Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha called the letter very timely.

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