The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has thrown its weight behind the Aam Aadmi Party for the Delhi polls, with its national spokesperson Derek O' Brien on Thursday uploading a video endorsing not just Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal but all AAP candidates.
Kejriwal sees a kindred spirit in Mamata Banerjee, as they both have fought bitterly against the BJP and have refused to cede ground on powers of the state.
But this not surprising, as AAP and TMC have spoken in one voice on several issues with Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal also sharing a cordial relationship over the years. The Delhi CM came out in support of his West Bengal counterpart during Lok Sabha election 2019 and also during her face-off with the Centre over Kolkata police Chief Rajeev Kumar. Banerjee too on her part condemned attacks on Kejriwal during the general elections and lashed out at the BJP over the issue.
Earlier in December 2019, Election Commission had recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries, which had triggered calls for the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and an angry reaction from the ruling party. But Mamata Banerjee supported Kejriwal. They both also have hired Prashant Kishor-led IPAC as their election strategist.
Even a curious development took place among the Opposition political space. As Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee played a completely different game, which is likely under the guidance of poll strategist Prashant Kishor. They both chose to stay away from Congress while it was on all-out war with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP. The reasons for this distance are many.
AAP blames the Delhi Congress leadership for its statements against its leaders. The proposal by AAP lawmakers in the Delhi Assembly against Rajiv Gandhi had also rattled the Delhi Congress unit. And not to forget the constant verbal spats between leaders from both the parties.
Similarly, in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is in no mood to be with the Congress party as Didi, it is said, believes she can defeat the BJP alone. Banerjee’s fresh tirade and her boycott of the all Opposition party meeting came after there were sporadic incidents of violence in West Bengal during a 24-hour bandh call by several Left party and Congress-backed trade unions. Reiterating her stand against bandhs, the Chief Minister cracked the whip on protestors and had gone the extra mile through additional police deployment to ensure normalcy.