Following Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s congratulatory statements on his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, political experts sense a trend towards a united opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
On Saturday, heaping praises on the Trinamool Congress supremo, CM Thackeray said, “Mamata Banerjee fought and won West Bengal polls on her own. Despite all kinds of remarks and vitriolic attacks, Bengal showed her willpower. Bengal, which gave a new lease of life to freedom struggle with two words – Vande Mataram, has shown what needs to be done for freedom.”
Further, stressing on “regional pride”, the Shiv Sena leader said, “Whenever regional pride is under threat, federal structure comes under pressure. West Bengal is an example of what ‘going solo’ means. Bengal saw all types of attacks, but everyone stood for the Bengali pride. Bengal has shown an example of how to safeguard regional pride.”
Political experts assert that Thackeray’s statement at this juncture is significant as far as opposition unity is concerned. The opposition has seen how CM Banerjee has fought the electoral battle in Bengal. Moreover, Banerjee has rekindled the confidence among other regional opposition powers that BJP can be defeated, come what may.
Besides, it also stressed the role of regional powers in mobilizing a united opposition.
Interestingly, soon after Banerjee won, her election strategist Prashant Kishore met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, to begin, what sources claim, the groundwork for the 2024 general elections.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharjee said, “This is only a dream the opposition has seen a couple of times, but has failed to achieve miserably. So, this is just for news and nothing else. Thackeray himself is confused.”
Thackeray’s assertion also has been touted as a signal to the Shiv Sena’s ally, Congress, ahead of keeping Mumbai Corporation elections.
Recently, Banerjee had urged the opposition to form a union to challenge the Centre.
The TMC has, meanwhile, welcomed the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s message for its supremo. TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said, “We welcome his statement. Bengal and Maharashtra have a long friendship and it feels good to see that Bengal’s fight is showing others the way forward. Mamata Banerjee has shown the way how this power can be ousted with united effort.”
However, which way should the opposition move in the future is a matter to be observed, but the opposition’s united hailing of Banerjee for her victory can have its own impact in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.