CLAIMS NITISH, FAROOQ ALSO NOT AVERSE TO JOIN HANDS WITH CONGRESS
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was ready to bury her differences with the Congress to form a united opposition front against the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, NCP chief Sharad Pawar claimed on Wednesday. Pawar also said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdulla, too, were not averse to join hands with the Congress.
“Mamata Bannerjee had personally said that her party is ready to come together in the national interests and work with Congress to put up a proper challenge before the ruling BJP,” Pawar said.
The Trinamool Congress and the Congress have been at loggerheads in West Bengal for the last several months with both parties engaged in war of words over the issue of opposition front leadership.
Last year, the TMC had said the party was “disinterested” in coordinating with the Congress and did not want to play second fiddle to the grand old party. Banerjee’s party had taken a dig at Rahul Gandhi’s defeat at Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll and wondered whether the Congress could erase it through a Twitter trend.
The ties between the Congress and the TMC was further strained after ‘Jago Bangla’ in one of its articles asserted that Banerjee and not Rahul Gandhi has emerged as the face of the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During the West Bengal elections, the TMC felt that the Congress and CPI(M) alliance helped the BJP to win more seats in the state. However, Pawar said Banerjee had told him that she was ready to forget her experience with the Congress in the state elections.
“The rank and file of the TMC was highly disappointed with the Congress after the West Bengal elections, but the party chief amended her stand,” the NCP chief said.
Pawar’s remarks came amid attempts by opposition leaders, including Nitish Kumar and Telangana Rashtra Samiti supremo K. Chandrasekhar Rao, to stitch a formidable alliance against the ruling front ahead of the Parliamentary elections.
Interestingly, the NCP chief’s remarks also came a day after Mamata Banerjee took a soft approach towards Narendra Modi as she said he did not believe that the prime minister was behind the CBI-ED raids on the TMC leaders.