West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who introduced the idea of a federal front to take on the BJP in 2019, on Friday said that no name should be picked for the prime ministerial candidate of the Opposition in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as it would divide the unity of regional parties.
“Please do not pick and choose any particular name to divide us,” the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief told reporters in Kolkata.
The remarks of the West Bengal chief minister came after meeting with National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah to discuss the Opposition’s strategy to fight against the BJP in 2019 general elections.
Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Abdullah also echoed Banerjee when asked weather the Opposition was ready to project the TMC chief as Opposition’s PM candidate.
“It is too early to choose the Opposition’s prime ministerial candidate. Our main focus should be to come together and put up a good fight against the BJP and then, we can decide on that,” Abdullah said.
Further, the Bengal CM said that all the Opposition and regional parties were together in their fight against the BJP.
“I think all the regional parties, all the political parties who are against the BJP are working together. Maybe one or two parties may not as they have their states’ compulsions, but a majority of them are working together. Our intention is very clear,” Banerjee said.
The remarks of Banerjee came days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi's statement during a meeting with women journalists that he would support any candidate able to defeat the BJP.
During the interaction, Gandhi reportedly said that he was ready to select the leader of a regional party as the prime ministerial nominee if it is able to garner numbers in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections or if others don’t agree on a Congress nominee.