Nitish-Mamata meeting: 'Opposition parties need to strategise together'

Kolkata: With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections next year, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his deputy Tejaswi Yadav from the RJD met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamul Congress at her office at the state secretariat here on Monday to build a united Opposition to challenge the BJP from getting a third consecutive term at the Centre.

They discussed a strategy to hold talks among all the anti-BJP parties as a first step and vowed to work together. They said that both of them would talk to all the anti-BJP parties in the country so that they work together.

The BJP took a swipe at Kumar and Banerjee over their meeting at Nabanna in Howrah.

Sitting next to the Trinamul supremo, Kumar underlined the Opposition's unity. He said: “We held talks which were good and positive. We discussed that all of us have to make preparations jointly for the next Parliament election and sit together for talks to decide what to do in future for the benefit of the country.”

Attacking the BJP, the JD(U) leader added: “Those who have got the opportunity to rule have nothing to do except campaigning for themselves. Nothing good is happening for the country. If you look here, it is clear whatever good has happened is because of her and not Delhi. These people (BJP) may change our history. All of us need to be alert for this. If needed, we will talk to other parties also.”

Banerjee said: “Nitishji and Tejaswi undertook a great work in Bihar and sent out a strong message against the BJP. Talks on development and politics happened amongst us. I made a request to Nitishji. When Jayaprakash ji launched his movement, it started from Bihar. We can hold an internal meeting of all the Opposition parties there before deciding who will go where and the manifesto.”

She added: “There is a need to give a message that we are united. We have no problem with that. We want the BJP to become a zero. It has become a big hero with the support of the media, narrative, falsehood and hooliganism. Nitishji will talk to everyone. I am also speaking to all. We will work together. We have no personal ego and want to work collectively.”

Asked about the alliance formula among all the Opposition parties, the TMC chief observed: “Discussion can take place if all sit together. If there is a clarity in theme, mission and vision, no problem will be there. Let them sit together. They will decide the next course of action.”

On the Congress leadership in heading the Opposition alliance always, she however quipped: “All are together. People of the country will fight the BJP. All the parties will work together.”

Tweeting an old video, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said: “It is ironic that Mamata Banerjee, who once called Nitish Kumar ‘gaddar’ at a rally in Patna, for not backing her campaign against demonetisation, is today speaking about Opposition unity. It tells you a lot about both Mamata and Nitish’s politics of opportunism.”

He claimed: “Mamata Banerjee should worry about losing ground in Bengal. Last time the BJP won 18 Lok Sabha seats and that number this time would be 35. The lesser said about Nitish Kumar the better. With 40-odd MLAs, he managed to remain as Bihar CM, because the BJP chose to honour its commitment, only to be backstabbed later. The people of Bihar and West Bengal will respond at the hustings.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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