United opposition can change poll scenario in 2019: Mamata

RSTV Bureau

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that unity of opposition parties will change the scenario in 2019 Lok Sabha Polls.

“Super dictatorship is going on (in the country). If somebody says anything, they (the Centre) will send the ED, or CBI or IT to their homes. All are scared of that,” Banerjee said criticising the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, at an interactive session hosted by a news channel in Kolkata.

“How will the opposition be powerful? Everybody is scared,” she said.

To a question why she was always the first target of attack by the Centre, she said she was happy to be so. “I feel I am a hero not zero”.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi chairing a meeting of the opposition leaders to discuss the strategy for the upcoming Presidential elections, in New Delhi on  on Friday. Former PM Manmohan Singh, RJD leader Lalu Prasad, JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and BSP President Mayawati are also seen.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi chairing a meeting of the opposition leaders to discuss the strategy for the upcoming Presidential elections, in New Delhi on on Friday. Former PM Manmohan Singh, RJD leader Lalu Prasad, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and BSP President Mayawati are also seen.

Banerjee said, “What I can sustain, others cannot. I can digest because I am from the grassroots and I am a fighter and I will fight the battle throughout my life”.

“However, the opposition parties have come on a platform and there will be change (at the Centre) in 2019.

“We are waiting for the change … No front has been formed as yet, but the opposition parties have come on a platform and have started working. Wait for six months. Things will be clear,” she said at the interaction ‘Rising Bengal 2017′ here.

“All will not speak so soon. Otherwise, (central) agencies will be unleashed against them,” she added.

Asked to comment on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar quitting the Grand Alliance with RJD and Congress in Bihar, Banerjee said, “You are thinking about one Nitish Kumar but I am thinking about 100 Sharad Yadavs, 100 Lalu Prasads, 100 Akhilesh Yadavs”.

 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Prime Minster Narendra Modi

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with Prime Minster Narendra Modi

Blaming the Centre for hampering the country’s economy and disturbing industries by introducing demonetization, Banerjee said “They (the Centre) threaten everybody. Every day they disturb the industry. Just look how many industrialists have left the country after the GST and demonetisation.

“What they had said before demonetisation nothing has happened. The country has to face so much of loss because of demonetisation. The economic condition of the country has deteriorated because of it. People do not know how much money has been deposited with the RBI after demonetisation”.

She wondered how BJP president Amit Shah could hold a meeting with a Union minister. “Who is the prime minister? Narendra Modi or Amit Shah?” she asked without naming the minister.

Banerjee showered praise on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “He is also a BJP man – but he was very balanced and impartial. We worked under him and never faced any problem.

“But why are we facing problems today? I do not want to blame the prime minister but his party should take care. Why is his party creating problems for everyone?

“Why they are showing us the agencies every day? Why will they tell me what I will eat, wear, which school I should go to or which religion I support? Or how the schools will celebrate Independence Day,” she said, adding, it was Bengal which was at the forefront of the freedom movement and “Now it has to learn how to celebrate Independence Day?”

She also alleged that education was being saffronised in the country.

Questioned about the recent deaths of children in a Gorakhpur hospital, Banerjee said “What has happened there was not good”.

“They (BJP) can deliver speeches but they cannot deliver the goods,” she added.

(PTI)