'Federal front' to take on Modi

'Federal front' to take on Modi

'Federal front' to take on Modi
As regional leaders gathered in Kolkata on Friday to celebrate Mamata Banerjee’s second term as Chief Minister of West Bengal, they sparked off rumours of a “secular, federal front” in the making.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah openly admitted that talks are underway to “bring together all secular forces” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

“It’s true that we’ll discuss the prospects of a federal front to fight against Modi and RSS. We want all secular forces to come together. Since Modi came to power, there has been no development in the country, only talks of it; farmers are dying, half the country is reeling under drought. All secular forces have to unite to fight this, otherwise the Sangh will take us all down,” said Lalu.

Abdullah echoed similar sentiments and endorsed the Trinamool chief as one of the leaders of the said front.

In his trademark style, Yadav refused to state whether he and the other leaders would hold a meeting during their current visit to Kolkata. He added that if leaders present on Friday did not come together “BJP and Sangh Parivar will divide the nation”.

Mamata, who hinted at future national political alignments after her victory, is more guarded. “If anybody wants my help, I’ll work for it,” she said.

Top regional party leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and DMK MP Kanimozhi were special invitees to the swearing-in ceremony. They held a closed-door meeting with her in the evening, sources said, although the agenda remains undisclosed.

Rahul too joins
Talks of the proposed front were further fuelled after a tweet from the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. He  congratulated her  for winning a second term in office.

As top Trinamool leaders rubbed shoulders with Kejriwal, Nitish and Lalu, the whispers became stronger that the backroom boys have started working on the proposed rainbow alliance, looking at the 2019 General Elections.

While Congress leaders have maintained that a true anti-BJP force cannot be formulated without their support, Lalu said that the “federal front is the real national party”.

Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’Brien said, “There’s no third front or second front. If at all this is the first front.”

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox