Opposition pushes for anti-BJP front govt at Andhra rally
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) front is going to form the next government at the Centre as the ruling party will be unable to get over 125 seats in the staggered national elections that would begin from April 11.
At an Opposition rally to express solidarity with Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) at Visakhapatnam, Banerjee said the BJP would not be able to get 21 seats it got from South India in 2014. She noted 17 of the 29 were from Karnataka alone.
“This time, it would not be able to get even this figure. In the recent assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP put up a poor show and it will be reflected in the Lok Sabha elections. Even in Gujarat, the party’s numbers will come down,’’ she said.
“In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP could get 71 out of 80 seats because of a split in the anti-BJP votes. This time, the BJP would not get more than 15 seats, as the SP and BSP are fighting together.”
Banerjee challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have a debate on the performance of his government. “We shall send our representative for the debate without any papers. Let Modi answer our queries without looking into papers or teleprompters.”
Banerjee ridiculed Modi for being afraid of facing the media. “You talk of corruption in every other state ruled by the Opposition and engineer raids by the CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation], I-T [income Tax department] and Enforcement Directorate. But you remain silent on the scams taking place in your own government like the Rafael deal.”
She accused Modi of being a watchman for looters and urged the people to vote cautiously. “We do not want Modi. After elections, we shall sit and decide who would become the Prime Minister.”
Earlier, Delhi chief minister and Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal called upon people to save the country from Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. “If they come back to power, there will be no elections in the country for another 30 years, as they want to change the Constitution.”
He called the Modi government the most corrupt government since Independence. Kejriwal called the 2016 demonetisation the biggest scam. “The poison of communalism has actually done more damage to the fabric of the nation than Pakistan does.” Naidu accused Modi of betraying his state’s people state by not granting Andhra Pradesh special category status. “He is a split personality. He does not do what he tells people and does not tell what he actually does.”
The BJP and Modi have been dismissive of the anti-BJP front and the Prime Minister has repeatedly called it “mahamilavat [highly adulterated]”.