Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Telangana. (Photo: PTI)
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is trying to cobble up a united front against the BJP, said on Monday that she had spoken with her counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Telangana, and together they were trying to "protect the country's federal structure from getting bulldozed".
The TMC supremo, who had visited Uttar Pradesh last week to campaign for Samajwadi Party (SP), contended the chief minister of that state was not a "yogi (monk) but a bhogi (worldly person)".
She said that her camp decided against contesting elections in UP in the "larger interest" of the nation.
"The TMC did not field any candidate in UP as I did not want Akhilesh Yadav (SP chief) to get weak in any seat. In the first phase, I am hoping Akhilesh's party will win 37 of 57 seats," she told a news channel.
Hitting out at her UP counterpart Yogi Adityanath, Banerjee claimed, "Women are burnt alive and peasants get murdered in that state. The CM there is not a 'yogi' but a 'bhogi'. If India has to be saved, UP will have to be saved first."
Banerjee said she would be visiting UP again on March 3 to hold a rally in Varanasi.
The feisty TMC boss also lashed out at the Congress stating that no regional outfit shared cordial relations with the grand old party.
"It's the duty of those who claim themselves to be secular to bring everyone on one platform. I had asked the Congress and the CPI(M) to join hands... If they do not listen, there is nothing that I can do.
"The Congress can go its way, we will go ours," she maintained.
Banerjee stressed that it was time to free the country from "seeds of hatred and atrocities".
She said that India was "veering towards a presidential form of government, with its Constitution getting demolished".
"I have spoken with Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin and her Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao, and we are trying to protect the country's federal structure," the TMC chief said.
The Bengal CM insisted that her party would also do well in Goa elections.
"Every household in Goa is now aware of the TMC. We will perform well there. This is just the beginning," she said.
Referring to TMC's triumph in Bengal's four municipal corporations, where elections were held on February 12, Banerjee thanked people for casting their votes in favour of her party.