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Sarada Lahangir

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress President Mamata Banerjee has written a three-page letter to 15 top opposition leaders in which she has mentioned that the BJP wants to establish a one-party authoritarian rule across the country. She says that the time has come for a united and effective struggle against the BJP’s alleged attack on democracy and the Constitution.

The letter, written recently , was sent to Congress Party’s interim president Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, YSR Congress leader Jagan Reddy, Farooq Abdullah of National Conference, Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party , BJD party chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti.

In the letter sent just before the commencement of the second phase polling for the assembly elections in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee alleged, “BJP wants to make it impossible for non-BJP parties to exercise their Constitutional rights and freedoms. It wants to reduce and limit the non BJP state Governments to municipalities.” In the letter, she gave seven examples of alleged attacks on democracy and cooperative federalism by BJP.

BJP Reply Back

In reply to Mamata Banerjee’s allegation BJP does not want to let it go. BJP is also aggressive and on attacking mode. Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims that Mamata Banerjee has written this letter out of panic. At a rally in West Bengal, Modi said, “Scared of losing the election, Didi has appealed to the leaders of other parties for help”.

BJP President JP Nadda hit back on Wednesday and said that Mamata’s letter was an attempt to “save her sinking boat”. Nadda said that this letter meant Mamata Banerjee accepts that she is surrounded all around in trouble in this election.”

Writing Letter Is Her Strategy Or A Need?

Mamata’s letter just before the commencement of second phase polls raises many questions. Because, if this letter was written before the election or after the election, then it would have different meaning as it seemed she wants to rebuild the parties in the opposition. And all parties will gather to defeat BJP. But when she wrote the letter, she is in the middle of the election. Is it her disappointment? Or she is seeking support of Congress? Left parties and Congress are contesting the elections together but she cannot ask for support from the Left parties. She can only ask for the Congress. If the Trinamool Congress could not achieve the magic number of 148 seats (the number needed for a simple majority), then she might seek all around support including the support of the Congress.

Senior journalist J Sagar from Kolkata who has been keenly observing the Bengal politics and its elections said “Mamata Banerjee should not be taken lightly. She is a seasoned politician and known as street fighter as well in Bengal .It may be a part of her strategy .Writing so many letters addressing to the election commission against BJP, Mamata Banerjee has tried to put the entire administration of Election Commission under pressure”.

“As far as the letters to the Non BJP leaders of different state is concerned if she will emerge winner in the elections then she is becoming the face of opposition. She will become the national challenger of Mr. Modi. ”he added.

Is Unity Of Opposition Possible?

Mamata Banerjee is not the only leader to talk about the unity of the opposition. DMK leader M.K. Stalin in Tamil Nadu talked about the unity of the opposition during an election campaign with Rahul Gandhi a few days ago and appealed to Rahul Gandhi to lead it. Addressing a public meeting in Salem in Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin alleged that India is suffocating due to “communal, fascist” forces and that Rahul Gandhi has a huge responsibility to protect the nation.”

Actually the unity of the opposition is a legitimate goal. No single party should dominate. A strong opposition is very important for democracy. But to end the schism in the opposition, steps have been taken many times in the past, but it has not been successful. In the history of independent India, the record of unity of the opposition against the ruling big party is not very encouraging.

During the Emergency in 1977, many bilateral parties gathered against Indira Gandhi, formed the government but it became a victim of divisions in two years. The slogan of “Indira Hatao” did not hold back and Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980. In recent years, opposition parties have tried several times to gather under the slogan “Modi Hatao or BJP Hatao” but BJP and Modi are getting stronger day by day.

Neck To Neck Fight

After the Bengal elections, unity among the opposition can be tried, but till then whether Mamata Banerjee will remain interested in it or not, it is difficult to say now. But it is for sure that Mamata smelled that Bengal election this time going to be very tough for her and it will be having neck to neck fight. This election is not about merely winning or losing a seat but it has turned into a battle of identity, existence and pride for both Mamata and BJP.

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