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Attack on Centre Ahead of Panchayat Polls, Oppn Unity Behind Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Delhi Chalo’ Call


Political analysts say that ahead of the panchayat elections, Mamata Banerjee wants to project that it is the Centre which is not paying dues to the poor for their 100 days of work. (PTI)

At her ‘dharna’, the Bengal chief minister stressed on opposition unity several times and her meetings with Akhilesh Yadav, Naveen Patnaik, and HD Kumaraswamy have been aimed at putting together a front against BJP in 2024

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Delhi Chalo’ call after a two-day ‘dharna’ in Kolkata demanding the state’s dues from the Centre is part of the TMC chief’s two-pronged strategy ahead of the 2024 polls.

Political analysts say that ahead of the panchayat elections, not only does Banerjee want to project that it is the Centre which is not paying dues to the poor for their 100 days of work but also bring the Opposition together to form a formidable bloc ahead of the Lok Sabha battle.

At her ‘dharna’, Banerjee stressed on opposition unity several times. “All must come together against them. Neta-ji had said ‘Chalo Delhi’. If people don’t get their dues, we will again go to Delhi with the photos of Gandhi-ji, Neta-ji, and BR Ambedkar,” she had said.

She warned: “We thought the central government will contact us but they did not do anything. If I go to Delhi, I will take other parties also. If you stop us, we will sit on ‘dharna’ wherever you stop us.”

The Bengal chief minister has been in talks with leaders such as Akhilesh Yadav, Naveen Patnaik and HD Kumaraswamy to push for opposition unity.

Training her guns on the Centre, she said during her demonstration: “According to them [BJP], all opposition parties are corrupt but they are good, the Opposition is black but they are white, the Opposition is corrupt and terrorists but they are nationalists.”

On Day One of the ‘dharna’, TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had also requested Banerjee to give the party permission to move to Delhi.

Trinamool MP Sudip Banerjee also said the TMC is in talks with various parties. “We have spoken to the Akali Dal. They are very interested in talking to Banerjee and we are also in talks with other ex-NDA partners who have left BJP.”

While the BJP has dismissed TMC’s attempts to unite all parties, Banerjee’s efforts — like before the 2019 polls — have begun and only time will tell if the initiative translates into votes. ​

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