Taking her “Khela Hobe” pitch to the national stage, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday “Khela” will happen until the BJP is removed from the country. “We will start the fight of 2024 from now and we need to start planning from now”, said Banerjee at the Martyr’s Day rally, throwing down the gauntlet for the next Lok Sabha elections.
‘Khela Hobe’ was Banerjee’s slogan for this year’s assembly elections. “We’ll celebrate ‘Khela Diwas’ on August 16. We’ll give footballs to poor children,” she said in her 45-minute speech, which was mostly in English and Hindi this time.
She also attacked the Centre over the Pegasus snooping controversy and said she didn’t talk to opposition leaders because she knew that her phone was being tapped. “In the name of Pegasus, they are intruding into our lives.” She also appealed to Supreme Court judges to take suo motu cognizance of the fact that all phones were being tapped, adding that the need of the hour “is to save this democracy”.
Banerjee promises a grand Brigade Parade ground rally with opposition leaders in winter if the Covid situation gets under control by then.
Interestingly, the Trinamool Congress mouthpiece, “Jago Bangla”, had a banner headline published in Mamata Banerjee’s byline loosely translated as: “Our pledge Now: Chalo Delhi”.
According to political analysts, one thing was clear that Banerjee wants the opposition to unite against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and for that she wants to start the ground work to set up the main alternative power. Before 2019, opposition used to be seen together but nothing was planned, but this time, the CM wants to start it much ahead of the 2024 General Elections.
“We have no time to waste to plan for the general elections. I will be in Delhi next week and I want to meet the opposition leaders during the ongoing Parliament session. I propose you call a meeting of opposition leaders between 26-28 of this month, we are keen to attend,” said Banerjee.
Banerjee will be in New Delhi on July 26 for the first time since her win in the Bengal assembly polls. According to sources, she is likely to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Opposition leaders.
Banerjee’s massive win in Bengal was highly applauded in the opposition camp and the regional leaders are most likely to meet her as key states such as Uttar Pradesh, Punjab will go to polls next year.