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Mamata to Congress: I.N.D.I.A. must step up attack on NDA government from first session of Parliament

Chidambaram had a meeting with Banerjee during a short visit to Kolkata last Thursday. He apparently conveyed to the TMC supremo that the Congress’ central leadership would like to have better coordination with her party both within and outside Parliament to take on the BJP-led NDA government.
Last Updated : 23 June 2024, 21:54 IST

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Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has conveyed to the top brass of the Congress that I.N.D.I.A. must go for the jugular of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the very first session of Parliament, instead of waiting and giving it time to dig its heels in.

Even as the Congress is in disarray in West Bengal after its alliance with the Left Front for the Lok Sabha elections failed to reverse its decline in the state, the grand old party’s top leaders reached out to the Trinamool Congress to ease the wrinkles in the ties between the two parties ahead of the first session of Parliament.

The TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister has conveyed to the Congress top brass that I.N.D.I.A. must mount the attack on the coalition government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) immediately both within and outside Parliament as the mandate of the recent Lok Sabha elections was against the regime led by Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Banerjee is learnt to have told Congress veteran P Chidambaram that the Opposition should speak up against the BJP-led Government, be it on the issue of alleged manipulation of the stock market with the exit polls early this month, or on lack of attention on the safety of the railway passengers in the context of the recent mishap in West Bengal, or on the alleged irregularities National Eligibility cum Entrance Test – Undergraduate (NEET-UG.

Besides, she also suggested that the I.N.D.I.A. must collectively demand the postponement of the implementation of the three new criminal laws and a parliamentary review of the laws as the Modi Government in its previous term had got the Bills passed by Parliament at a time when 146 opposition MPs had been suspended from both Houses.

Chidambaram had a meeting with Banerjee during a short visit to Kolkata last Thursday. He apparently conveyed to the TMC supremo that the Congress’ central leadership would like to have better coordination with her party both within and outside Parliament to take on the BJP-led NDA government. He also assured the TMC supremo that the Congress would try to address her concerns over the allegedly ‘dominant role’ of the CPI(M) leaders in setting the agenda of I.N.D.I.A. and the opposition alliance would be run on the basis of equality and consensus, sources told DH.

Banerjee, according to the sources, also sought the support of the Congress and other constituents of I.N.D.I.A. to her party’s demands for the release of funds by the Union government for the implementation of the development and welfare projects in West Bengal.

With Banerjee’s bête noire Adhir Chowdhury no longer in the Lok Sabha, the TMC leaders hope that the coordination with the Congress in Parliament will be easier now. Chowdhury, the president of the West Bengal Congress Committee, was the leader of the party in the 17th Lok Sabha. He, however, lost in his pocket borough, Baharampur LS constituency, where the TMC’s candidate and former cricketer Yusuf Pathan won this time.

The TMC, despite being a part of the I.N.D.I.A., went solo in the Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee blamed the leaders of the Congress and the Left Front in West Bengal for having a secret understanding with the BJP to beat her party in the Lok Sabha elections.

Banerjee did not attend the meeting of the I.N.D.I.A. leaders in New Delhi on June 1, the day of the last phase of voting for the LS elections. She, however, did send her nephew and heir apparent Abhishek Banerjee to attend the second meeting on June 5, a day after the votes were counted and the results were declared.

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Published 23 June 2024, 21:54 IST

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