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Why Mamata Banerjee is keenly watching Uttar Pradesh polls nearly 900 kms away from Kolkata

According to Trinamool Congress, opposition forces should join hands to thwart Modi, like Congress and Samajwadi Party did in UP assembly polls.

kolkata Updated: Feb 03, 2017 23:44 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya
Ravik Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Mamata Banerjee,West Bengal,Uttar Pradesh
Not only that UP’s political outcome will determine much of the future course of action of Trinamool Congress but also the fate of the much cherished federal front against Modi before the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.(HT Photo)

The distance between Kolkata and Lucknow is nearly 900 kms, but for Mamata Banerjee, Bengal chief minister is keenly watching the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. Not only that UP’s political outcome will determine much of the future course of action of Trinamool Congress but also the fate of the much cherished federal front against Modi before the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

It was the Bengal chief minister who was not only among the first and most vociferous against the ill effects of demonetisation, but also the first to congratulate and even support the alliance between Congress and Samajwadi party in UP.

“The importance of polls in Uttar Pradesh lies in the fact that there has been a novel alliance between Congress and Samajwadi party. The alliance was the need of the hour. It is important that political parties join hands against BJP. The party at the centre has money and administrative power which they misuse against their political opponents. Also in a multi-party system and for strengthening the federal structure such alliances are necessary,” said Sukhendu Shekhar Roy, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP and spokesperson.

“Polls in the five states are important because it is taking place just within three months of demonestiation. Polls in Uttar Pradesh are more important since it is the state with largest number of assembly seats,” added Roy.

Just after the alliance was announced in UP, Mamata Banerjee was the first to respond tweeting “Full support from Trinamool Congress @AITCofficial to the good alliance for UP between @incindia & @samajwadiparty.”

Trinamool Congress which was one of the most vociferous against demonetization both inside the Parliament and outside had already highlighted arrest of its MPs in chit fund scam as ‘political vendetta’ by Modi.

With Narada case likely to go to CBI, it is all important for Trinamool Congress that BJP gets a jolt in UP. Trinamool Congress leaders stated that a lot is at stake depending on the results of Uttar Pradesh.

In case BJP fares badly in the UP polls, party leaders expect that CBI once again will have to go slow against a section of party leaders.

With Mamata Banerjee going all out against Narendra Modi, not only she will be vindicated, but she will be in a pivotal position in Delhi among all opposition parties with her strength in Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha. Mamata Banerjee’s federal front dream against BJP will also get a boost.

Already Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has called for more parties to join hands during his press conference with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav last Sunday. Trinamool Congress leaders believe that such alliances hold the seed of a front against BJP before the Lok Sabha polls.

“In case BJP does badly in UP, Modi-Amit Shah duo are likely to face pressure from inside their party and outside. Modi will be forced to go soft on Trinamool Congress leaders in chit fund scam, to make sure that Congress do not get TMC’s unconditional support. On the other hand if BJP does very well in UP, it is obvious that more Trinamool Congress leaders will be arrested. Modi will become more aggressive against Mamata,” said Shibaji Pratim Basu , political analyst.

Trinamool Congress continued to be relentless against Narendra Modi, even by boycotting the first two day of budget session in the Parliament.

“The Uttar Pradesh results are not only important for national politics but also for Mamata Banerjee. If BJP fares badly, Mamata Banerjee will have the upper hand and an opportunity to vigorously target Modi on the floor of the house and outside, joining hands with other opposition parties including Congress,” Basu added.

Interestingly, on January 6, Mamata Banerjee made public statements, where she demanded that Narendra Modi should resign and any other senior leader from BJP should become the Prime minister.

“Come forward to form a national government. Even other leaders from the BJP such as LK Advani, Rajnath Singh or Arun Jaitley can take the initiative to form a national government... But Narendra Modi can’t run the government,” Mamata said after an administrative meeting at the Town Hall.

First Published: Feb 02, 2017 15:04 IST