Lalu, Farooq Abdullah bat for secular front, BJP mocks

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Kolkata, May 27 (IANS) Asserting it was imperative to remove the Narendra Modi government to save India from getting divided, RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Friday called upon all secular parties to unite against the BJP and the RSS.

National Conference chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah too batted for a federal front and said Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who on the day was sworn in as West Bengal chief minister, could head such a front.

The Bharatiya Janata Party however mocked the proposal, calling it a “tested, tried and failed idea”.

“We want all the parties having similar ideologies, the secular parties, to unite. Removing the BJP and the RSS from the centre has become imperative, so we will sit tighter and discuss about that,” Lalu Prasad told mediapersons at the swearing-in ceremony here.

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“If we fail to awaken in time and don’t unite, the BJP and the RSS will divide the country,” he added.

Expressing a similar view, Abdullah said there was every possibility of a federal front materialising.

“We will sit together, work out, and whatever is best for this nation, we will think about that.

“There is every possibility of a front that might come up, that will save India from future disaster,” he said.

Asked if Banerjee could head such a front, Abdullah said: “There are a number of people. Mamataji is also one of them. She has worked for a secular India, a united India.

“For the development of every single individual of this nation, whether he belongs to the east or west, or north or south, we all will join in that process in uniting this nation together,” he said.

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Even as she described herself as a “less important person”, Banerjee extended help to all seeking her assistance.

“I am a commoner, a less important person. But I will help all of them, no problem, if anybody wants my help. Let me work for the people,” said Banerjee who has taken over the reins of Bengal for her second successive term.

Senior BJP leader and union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley however mocked the idea.

“Federal front is a tested, tried and failed idea,” Jaitley, who too attended Banerjee swearing in, said at a press conference.

“We welcome anybody coming in opposition to the BJP. The alternative alliance should have a stable anchor with a national presence. The past experience of the failure of federal fronts was because the anchor was narrow in support.

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“Any alliance will never be stable when the alliance is anchored by small groups. The last example was that of the United Front 20 years back,” added Jaitley.



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