‘Will come here every 2 months’: Mamata as her 5-day Delhi visit concludes
- The TMC supremo and West Bengal CM also said that she will meet NCP president Sharad Pawar next time, and that Opposition leaders must work together to save democracy.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that her five-day visit to the national capital was “successful". “The Opposition needs to get united. I met several leaders. The outcome is good,” she told news agency ANI.
Briefing media persons about her trip, she further said that her meeting with various Opposition leaders was for a “political purpose” and that democracy “must go on". “We need to work together to save democracy. Our slogan is save democracy, save the country,” Banerjee said.
The chief minister added she will meet Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar next time. “We want development for all…Farmers are on [the] road. My support for farmers will always be there. My concern is [the] rising petrol-diesel price, unemployment, Covid-19…We will come here (Delhi) every two months,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by ANI.
Banerjee’s high-profile visit to Delhi included meetings with multiple important Opposition leaders, including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi, DMK MP Kanimozhi and even Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari. She told the media of speaking to RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav over the phone on Tuesday.
Banerjee also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday – the first official meeting between the two leaders following her landslide triumph in the recently concluded Assembly elections in West Bengal. Later, she told the media that it was a “courteous” meeting and she had raised the issue of Covid-19 and the need for more vaccines and medicines in her state.
The TMC supremo has emphasised on Opposition’s unity at the central level in order to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Referring to the popular “khela hobe” slogan that her party used in the 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal, she said on Wednesday that in 2024 “poore desh me khela hobe” (game will be played across the country). “When general elections come, it will be Modi versus [the] country,” she added.
Banerjee further stated that in the next general elections, the Opposition will be stronger than the BJP and will “create history.” “It is essential for everyone to come together in order to defeat the BJP. Alone, I am nothing – everyone will have to work together. I am not a leader. I am a cadre. I am a person from the street,” she added.
The chief minister also met lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar and his actor-wife Shabana Azmi on Thursday. Following the meeting, Akhtar said that he believes a change should come in India. “There are so many tensions in the country right now…There is the issue of polarisation. Many give aggressive statements…There are incidents of violence,” Akhtar told the media.
He also said that it is beyond discussion now when asked if Banerjee’s “khela hobe” slogan will resonate all over India. “It does not need proof,” Akhtar said.
However, Banerjee averted discussion on the face of the Opposition ahead of the 2024 elections saying that she isn’t a “political astrologer.” “We will sit together and decide, I am not a political astrologer. The decisions depend on the system, and on political parties. I cannot impose my decision on others,” the chief minister said.