With an eye on 2024 Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday discussed "the unity of Opposition" with Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and said it is essential for everyone to come together in order to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Banerjee, who is in the National Capital for the first time since her victory in the West Bengal Assembly elections, termed the meeting as "very good" and expressed hope that positive results will come in the near future.
The political situation in the country, alleged Pegasus snooping row and COVID-19 situation were among other issues discussed during the meeting. "Sonia ji invited me for tea, Rahul ji was also there. We discussed the political situation in general, the Pegasus, COVID situation, and also discussed the unity of Opposition. It was a very good meeting. I think the positive result must come out in the future," Banerjee told reporters here after the meeting.
"It is essential for everyone to come together in order to defeat BJP... Alone, I am nothing - everyone will have to work together. I am not a leader, I am a cadre. I am a person from the street," she added.
She further questioned the government on Pegasus issue. "Why is the government not replying to Pegasus? People want to know. If policy decisions are not made in Parliament, if discussions are not held there, where will it take place? This is not done at tea stalls, this is done in the Parliament." The Trinamool Congress chief on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Kamal Nath.
Earlier on Wednesday, Banerjee express ambivalence about being the face of the Opposition to take on the BJP, saying it will depend on the situation.
"I am not a political astrologer. It depends on the situation, structure. I have no problem if someone else leads. When the matter is discussed we can decide. I cannot impose," Banerjee told a select group of reporters here when asked if she would be the face of the Opposition.
On the Pegasus row, she said the situation was more serious than Emergency and accused the Centre of being unresponsive. "Everywhere they are sending ED, IT for raids. Here there is no response. In a democracy, the government has to respond. The situation is very serious, it's more serious than the Emergency," the Trinamool Congress chief claimed
"I am a simple worker and want to continue as a worker," Banerjee, who is in the national capital for the first time after her party's resounding victory in the Assembly polls, said on Wednesday.
"I want to see sachcha din, bahut din acha di dekh liya," Banerjee added, in a jibe at the BJP''s poll slogan
On Tuesday, Banerjee had said the unity of Opposition parties will take shape on its own.
Banerjee's visit during the ongoing Parliament's Monsoon Session holds significance as the Opposition is cornering the BJP-led NDA government on a range of issues including price rise, increasing cost of diesel and petrol, and issues related to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
With inputs from agencies