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Ready to work with national opposition to take on Modi govt: Mamata

The West Bengal chief minister says she has no personal agenda against the prime Minister.

kolkata Updated: Nov 24, 2017 17:30 IST
PTI, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee,Narendra Modi,Prime Minister
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.(IANS Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that democracy is under threat in the country under the BJP rule and called upon Opposition parties to work together for the greater interest of the people before the next Lok Sabha polls.

She accused the NDA government of trying to halt the developmental process in her state.

“Democracy is under threat in this country under the present central government. It is a super emergency that is going on in the country. I have been an MP for nearly two decades but I have never seen such a government at the Centre,” she said at the India Today Conclave East here.

“I believe in collective leadership... At present all are working together and that is the best policy. Let us work together,” Banerjee said about the Opposition, adding she shares good relations with the DMK, the SP, the BSP and the BJD and is working with the Congress inside Parliament on various issues.

When asked whether she is hinting at a broader opposition coalition with the Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, she said, “In Bengal, the Congress and the Left are working with the BJP at the state level. But at the national level for greater interests I think we should work together.”

To a question whether the country would see a grand opposition coalition ahead of 2019, she said, “It depends. We are working together in Parliament. I went to (RJD chief) Lalu Prasadji’s programme in Patna.”

Banerjee said, “I have good relationship with (Samajwadi Party chief) Akhilesh ji and (BSP chief) Mayawati ji in Uttar Pradesh, with Stalin ji (DMK), Naveen ji (BJD)... I maintain the best of relations with so many other people. Even, within the BJP I maintain good relation with some people, but not with all.”

Bengal will never accept divide and rule politics of the BJP, she asserted and dismissed that it was a challenger to the ruling (TMC) Trinamool Congress government.

“The BJP is nowhere in Bengal but only on media and social media. They only shout. Let the BJP shout along with their bike vahini, but they cannot do anything in Bengal,” Banerjee said.

The BJP is trying to position itself as the main opposition in the state.

On Padmavati

Banerjee said she would welcome “Padmavati” director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his team to the state and make special arrangements for the film’s premiere and release.

Banerjee’s statement comes just days after she tweeted that the row over the film was a “calculated plan” to destroy freedom of expression in the country.

“If they (Bhansali and producer) cannot release Padmavati in any other state, we will make special arrangements for it in our state. Bengal will be very happy and Bengal will be proud to do that. We will take care of it.Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his Padmavati team are welcome in our state,” she said at the India Today Conclave East, 2017.

On November 20, the chief minister had tweeted, “The Padmavati controversy is not only unfortunate but also a calculated plan of a political party to destroy the freedom to express ourselves”.

“We condemn this super emergency. All in the film industry must come together and protest in one voice,” Banerjee had added.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 14:54 IST