New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on Tuesday triggering speculations that she is trying to form an Opposition front against the incumbent BJP-led NDA government.
All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Banerjee also met Shiv Sena parliamentarian Sanjay Raut, later on Tuesday. Notably, BJP's embittered ally in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena has announced to break the alliance before the general elections 2019.
"When political people meet then of course they will discuss politics, there is nothing to hide in that. The Lok Sabha election of 2019 will certainly be very interesting," Banerjee told reporters after the meeting.
The TMC chief also came down heavily on the NDA-led Centre and said issues like demonetisation and bank frauds have affected people at the grassroot level and that it was time for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to "pack up and go".
She asserted that all opposition parties should work together to oust the saffron party.
She said, "We want all opposition parties to work together. We should help the strongest opposition party in state to fight the BJP. It should be one fight".
"People are against the BJP. I have travelled to all the states. I know the mood of the people. Issues like demonetisation, GST, bank fraud have affected people even at the grassroot level. The time has come for this BJP to pack up and go," TMC supremo added.
Banerjee also met Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) parliamentarian Misa Bharti, daughter of RJD chief Lalu Yadav.
She is also likely to meet former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
The West Bengal chief minister further said that she can meet Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav if they call her to Lucknow.
“Yes, Soniaji is not well right now and recovering. We will meet her once she is fine. Will certainly go if they (Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) call us to Lucknow,” Banerjee said.
Mamata Banerjee will meet rebel BJP leaders Shatrughan Sinha, Yashwant Sinha and former Union minister Arun Shourie on Wednesday in a move which is being seen as a bid to assemble forces against the BJP, in the run up to the 2019 general elections.