We all are kings: Mamata after meeting Sonia, Rahul

We all are kings: Mamata after meeting Sonia, Rahul

 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee leaves after meeting Sonia Gandhi at her residence, in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday quoted Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore to stress that a united Opposition would take on the ruling BJP in the 2019 parliamentary elections under a "collective leadership".

"Amra Sabai Raja (We all are Kings)," Mamata quoted from a song written by Tagore in 1905 as she spoke to media persons after meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.

"This is the spirit of democracy. Everybody is the king, everybody is equal," the chief minister of West Bengal said.

She was replying to a question on the issue of leadership of the coalition, which she has been trying to forge by bringing the Opposition parties together to fight against the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

Her comment came just a few days after the Congress made a move to project Rahul Gandhi as the face and prime ministerial candidate of a united Opposition to take on the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the parliamentary elections.

The Congress' move triggered speculation about a rift within the Opposition as the Trinamool Congress, too, had been projecting its supremo as the face of the coalition against the ruling party.

"In 2019, it will be collective leadership (for the coalition against the BJP). (Our) first priority is to remove (the) BJP (from power)," Mamata said after coming out of Sonia Gandhi's residence at 10 Janpath in New Delhi.

She invited Rahul and Sonia Gandhi as well as former prime minister and JD (S) veteran H D Devegowda and Other opposition leaders to attend a rally in Kolkata on January 19 to formally start a campaign against the BJP in West Bengal.

Trinamool Congress sources said that she had conveyed to the top brass of the Congress that the issue of leadership should not be allowed to come to the fore before the elections, as it might create trouble within the Opposition and the ruling BJP would try to take advantage of any misunderstanding among its principal challengers.

She, however, indicated that the Trinamool Congress would go it alone in its stronghold West Bengal and contest for all the 42 Lok Sabha seats from the State.

"We will fight together. Whichever party is strong, will fight in respective states," she told journalists, adding: "We are strong in our state. We can fight on our own (in West Bengal)". 

Mamata also met Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal.

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