West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a dig at both Congress and BJP on Wednesday after it claimed that after the former's failure, the people of the nation had put the onus of defeating BJP on the Trinamool Congress. Referring to her party's victory in the state assembly elections earlier in the year, Banerjee said that TMC had earned the trust of the people with her its resounding victory against the BJP. Banerjee's statements were published in an article titled "Dilli' r Daak" (Call of Delhi) in the puja edition of the party mouthpiece "Jago Bangla".
"The BJP has failed to digest its defeat in the assembly polls and is pursuing vendetta politics. Right now, there is a new challenge before the TMC - the call of Delhi. The people of this country want respite from the anti-people policies and politics and defeat of the fascist forces," Banerjee said in the article.
After defeating the BJP in the assembly polls, Banerjee visited Delhi in July and held parleys with opposition leaders to explore ways to cobble together an alliance of anti-BJP parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
"The people of the country are now dreaming of a new India around the TMC. Crossing the boundaries of Bengal, the TMC is getting calls from various states. They want that Bengal should lead the fight for a new India. That is why we are saying we have to respond to people's calls. We have to fulfil the wishes of the people and bring together all anti-BJP forces on one platform," she said.
Veteran Congress leader and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro recently joined the Trinamool Congress. The party is also eyeing to dislodge the BJP from power in Tripura. Assembly elections in Goa and Tripura are due in 2022 and 2023.
Noting that she has never considered keeping the Congress out of a united platform of anti-BJP forces, the TMC boss said such a platform should be based on policies.
"But the fact is, in the recent past, Congress has failed to put up a fight against the BJP. In the last two Lok Sabha polls, it was proved. If you can't provide a fight at the Centre, it breaks the confidence of the masses, and the BJP gains a few more votes in states. We cannot allow this to happen this time".
"We don't want the leadership of this alliance. But the Congress has to understand and accept the reality or else there will be a gap in the alliance. There should not be any gap, any lacunae in forming an anti-BJP force at the all-India level this time," Banerjee said in the article.
However, hinting that the TMC is ready to be the driving force to oust the BJP government at the Centre, she claimed that the TMC's development model has defeated the saffron party's juggernaut.
"The people of the country have faith in this (TMC) model. We have to present the most workable model which can meet the aspirations of the people of India. The TMC will not move a step backwards in fulfilling the aspirations of the people," she said.
Referring to how her party had once emerged as the main opposition face against the CPI(M) regime in West Bengal by outsmarting the Congress, Banerjee said in the article the TMC in recent times has become the "real opposition against the BJP".
The article came a week after the TMC's national general secretary and her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, accused the Congress of 'sitting idle" and indulging in armchair politics and advised it to hit the streets to fight the BJP.
The bonhomie between the Congress and the TMC was strained recently after the latter's mouthpiece claimed that party supremo Mamata Banerjee, and not Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, has emerged as the face of the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(With inputs from PTI)