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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Mamata Banerjee’s Reminder Ahead Of PM Modi’s Swearing-In


'Sometimes Governments Last Only A Day': Mamata Banerjee's Reminder

The Trinamool has won 29 of West Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.

Kolkata:

Riding high on her party’s big win against the BJP in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has dropped a strong hint that the INDIA bloc could take over the reins at the Centre soon, saying that governments “sometimes last only for a day”.

Speaking after a Trinamool Parliamentary Party meeting on Saturday, a day before the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers, Ms Banerjee also said her party will not be attending the event because the government is being formed “illegally and undemocratically”.

PM Modi and the BJP are having to depend on allies this time – especially Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP and Nitish Kumar’s JDU – because the party has managed to win only 240 Lok Sabha seats in the just-concluded elections, falling short of the majority mark by 32. 

Taking a dig at the BJP for the situation it has found itself in after achieving majorities on its own twice since 2014, the Bengal chief minister said, “Those who spoke of 400 (Lok Sabha seats) could not get even a simple majority on their own. Don’t think just because INDIA has not staked claim (to form a government), nothing will happen. We are waiting and watching because things change. Ultimately, it will be a new INDIA government, but let them be for a few days. Sometimes, governments last only for a day… Anything can happen, who knows if this government will last even 15 days?”

The INDIA alliance managed to clinch 232 Lok Sabha seats, thanks to a resurgent Congress and a strong showing by allies like the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and the DMK. The Trinamool is the fourth largest party in Parliament and INDIA bloc members make up four of the top five, but the alliance is still far short of the number needed for a majority. 

That – and even the letters of support to the BJP from NDA allies – has not stopped INDIA bloc leaders from hinting that they can form a government. Even Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had said after an alliance meeting on Thursday that the INDIA alliance will take appropriate steps at the appropriate time to “realise the people’s desire not to be ruled by the BJP”.

‘Won’t Attend Oath-Taking Ceremony’

Keeping up her attack on the BJP, Ms Banerjee said that laws that have been passed using “brute force”, including the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), should be cancelled.

On the oath-taking ceremony on Sunday, she said, “We cannot give them best wishes as they are forming a government illegally and undemocratically. They will try and break parties again. But they will break from within as many people are unhappy… We have not received an invite for the swearing-in ceremony and we will not go.”

Inviting all INDIA bloc members to Kolkata for a meeting, the Bengal chief minister pointed out that the state voted in each of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections between April 19 and June 1. “The election process cannot go on for two months. We demand this change in the interest of the people,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress has won 29 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, up from 22, while the BJP’s tally went down from 18 in 2019 to 12 this time.

At Saturday’s party meeting, Ms Banerjee was elected the chairperson of the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party. Sudip Bandyopadhyay will be the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha with Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar as the deputy leader. In the Rajya Sabha, the party will be led by Derek O’Brien again and first-time MP Sagarika Ghosh will be the deputy leader.

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