New Delhi: “Dui hajaar uneesh, BJP finish (2019, BJP finish),” said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, who is a on a three-day visit to Delhi to meet opposition party leaders as well as BJP critics and in-house rebels.
On Wednesday evening, Banerjee met with Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son and party chief Rahul Gandhi, who recently indicated that he was open to Mamata Banerjee or Mayawati being projected as Prime Ministerial candidate for a combined opposition in 2019.
Banerjee said she wanted to invite political leaders to her mega-rally on January 19, pitched as a show of opposition unity ahead of the 2019 national election, reported NDTV.
“PM will be decided later, let’s first defeat the BJP,” she said, indicating that any opposition grouping to take on the BJP would leave the tricky and divisive subject of prime ministerial candidate until after the elections.
The West Bengal CM’s meeting with the Gandhis comes a day after Mamata Banerjee’s scathing attack on the BJP over the National Register of Citizens in Assam, which left out the names of 40 lakh people.
“We discussed current politics and the possibility of all of us contesting elections together in future. In 2019 it will be collective leadership. First priority is to remove BJP. We will fight together. Whichever party is strong, will fight in respective states. We are strong in our State. We can fight on our own,” said the chief minister.
On Tuesday, Banerjee met Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar. She followed it up with a meeting with BJP lawmaker Shatrughan Sinha and former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Ram Jethmalani – both former BJP leaders and all three sharp critics of the BJP.
“I invited them to participate in the rally in Kolkata. The people who fight against the ruling party win,” she said after the meeting at Ram Jethmalani’s home.
On Wednesday morning, she started her day by calling BJP veteran and former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.
“I know Advaniji for a long time. I met him and asked him about his health,” Banerjee said after the 15-minute meeting. Sources close to Advani said the CM always meets with him every time she is in Delhi during a parliament session. She also met suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad, reported NDTV.
Later, the west Bengal CM met Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai, Kerala Congress-Mani leader Jose K. Mani and Samajwadi leader Jaya Bachchan.
Banerjee, who visited the Central Hall of Parliament, also met lawmakers of Andhra Pradesh’s ruling TDP, which pulled out of the BJP-led coalition in March.