KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, has been making efforts to unite the opposition parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. In her latest move towards this end, Banerjee met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav in Kolkata on Monday.
After their closed-door meeting, Mamata Banerjee said that she wants the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become a ‘zero’ and emphasized the need for unity among the opposition parties. She also requested Nitish Kumar to convene an all-party meeting in Bihar.
आज कोलकाता में @MamataOfficial जी से मुलाक़ात की#Mahagathbandhan #Bihar#NitishKumar #MamataBanerjee pic.twitter.com/ByvdTDQ03G— CM Bihar Nitish Kumar (@CMBiharNK) April 24, 2023
Nitish Kumar, describing the meeting as ‘positive’, said that opposition parties need to sit together and strategize. He also criticized the BJP, stating that they are only focused on their own publicity and not doing anything for the development of the nation.
#WATCH नीतीश कुमार और तेजस्वी यादव ने भाजपा के खिलाफ अच्छा काम किया है। मैंने आज इनका स्वागत किया है। आज हमारे बीच विकास और राजनीति से संबंधित बाते हुई हैं: पश्चिम बंगाल की मुख्यमंत्री ममता बनर्जी, हावड़ा pic.twitter.com/cvadHs8lUO— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) April 24, 2023
During the press conference, Bihar CM said, We all parties together have to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. All parties should talk among themselves and decide everything further. Whatever happens next will be done in the interest of the country. Those who are ruling now have nothing to do. They are only promoting themselves.
#WATCH हम सभी पार्टियों को मिलकर 2024 लोकसाभ चुनाव की तैयारी करनी है। सभी पार्टियां आपस में बात चीत करें और आगे का सब तय करें। आगे जो भी होगा देशहित में किया जाएगा। जो लोग अभी शासन कर रहे हैं, उनके पास करने के लिए कुछ नहीं है। ये सिर्फ अपना प्रचार कर रहे हैं: बिहार CM नीतीश कुमार pic.twitter.com/1p2e5qVCdC— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) April 24, 2023
In recent months, Mamata Banerjee has been holding meetings with several non-BJP and non-Congress leaders to discuss opposition unity against the saffron party in the 2024 General elections. She has met with Akhilesh Yadav, Naveen Patnaik, HD Kumaraswamy, and MK Stalin among others.
Banerjee has been emphasizing the need for opposition unity to bring an end to the BJP-led regime. However, she has avoided the question of whether Congress is a part of her blueprint of a united opposition against the BJP.
The efforts of Mamata Banerjee to unite the opposition parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are significant as the BJP currently holds a majority in the lower house of parliament. If the opposition parties come together, they may have a better chance of challenging the BJP’s dominance.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief also said that she has made just one request to Nitish Kumar, that an all-party meeting should be convened in Bihar.
“I want the BJP to become zero. They have become a big hero with the media’s support and lies,” she added.
At the presser, Nitish described his meeting with Mamata at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ as a ‘positive’ one.
“It was a very positive discussion… Opposition parties need to sit together and strategise,” he said.
The JD(U) chief also hit out at the BJP and said that they are just doing their own publicity.
“Those who are ruling now have nothing to do. They are just doing their own publicity. Nothing is being done for the nation’s development,” he said.