Mamata for understanding between regional parties, Congress

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Siliguri, May 31 (IANS) Terming the BJP’s defeat at the hands of a united opposition in Lok Sabha and Assembly bypolls an “ominous signal” for the Centre’s ruling party, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said an understanding between powerful regional parties and other anti-BJP forces like the Congress is the right formula for next year’s general elections.

Citing examples of various regional outfits like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, which have emerged victorious in the bypolls, she said a strong bond between these forces and the Congress is the “need of the hour” to defeat the BJP.

“The BJP has lost in nine out of 10 assembly by-elections today. The calculation is very clear. The regional forces that are strong in a particular state have emerged victorious. I think they should be united. It is a formula. It is the requirement of the hour,” she said at the north Bengal secretariat Uttar Kanya.

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“The result is a lesson for the regional parties and a strong political party that has the political will in different states to join hands. It shows that the formula is successful…

“If the Congress joins hands with the NCP in Maharashtra, it would be good for both. Even the Shiv Sena is very strong in the urban regions there. Similarly in Karnataka, if (JD-S chief H.D.) Deve Gowda joins hands with the Congress, it would be beneficial.”

Banerjee noted that while the combined forces of the Congress, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal have toppled the BJP in Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on its own won in Punjab’s Shahkot, Karnataka’s R.R. Nagar and Meghalaya’s Ampati Assembly seats.

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She also hailed the RJD’s win in Bihar, stating that the party’s victory march could not be stopped even after jailing its chief Lalu Prasad. “A wounded tiger is more ferocious,” she said about him.

The Trinamool Congress supremo claimed that people of the nation were “fed up” with the BJP-run Central government and referred to the recent reduction of fuel price by one paisa after continuous price hike as an insult to the countrymen.

“After such steep hike in fuel price for 16 consecutive days, reducing the cost by one paisa is the biggest insult to people. I think it is time to see in retrospect that no one in politics can capture everything by force.

“You can progress if you have something. But you cannot get everything out of nothing,” she said, alluding to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) agenda of winning in all states.

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Accusing the BJP of trying to divide people across communal lines, she said such divisive politics would not hold ground for long.

“Some people may get results in their favour through the politics of divisiveness for a brief period but it cannot continue for long. We all know that unity in diversity is intrinsic to India.”

A united opposition got a major boost on Thursday when it delivered a huge blow to the BJP, defeating it in Kairana and one seat in Maharashtra while the saffron party managed to retain Palghar, while its ally NDPP bagged the Nagaland parliamentary seat. The BJP could win only one out of the 10 Assembly seats in nine states.

–IANS

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