Soon after Mamata Banerjee termed her visit to Delhi “successful”, Bengal Opposition Leader Suvendu Adhikari said if the Chief Minister was talking in terms of 2024 general elections “then she should bear in mind that come what may the BJP will once again form the Government led by a world leader like Narendra Modi.”
Reminding how Banerjee’s “united India” initiative ahead of 2019 general elections had dashed to the ground Adhikari said “she had organized a big public rally in Kolkata attended by the likes of Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Pawar, Hemanta Soren and many other leaders but at the end it was the BJP that came to power with 300-plus seats … don’t worry despite all these circuses it is the BJP and NDA led by Modi ji who is the most powerful leader of the world’s largest democracy that will come to power.”
He however quickly added that “2024 is still some time away and before that the Chief Minister should concentrate on development … instead of wasting time by lobbying here and there.”
Banerjee who was in Delhi to initiate talks with opposition parties to stitch together a united front against the ruling BJP, said her visit was successful. “We all need to come together to save the democracy…If democracy is under threat, then so is the nation,” she said adding she would keep coming to Delhi every two months.
Banerjee earlier met the Prime Minister and demanded among other things streamlining of vaccine supply to Bengal. She also met Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and with a list of demands for flyovers and roadways particularly the ones that could line Ganga Sagar Islands with the mainland.
On the political front she met a number of opposition leaders like Congress president Sonia Gandhi, other Congress leaders like Kamalnath and Anand Sharma, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kanimozhi, cine personalities Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar and others.
Taking a dig at Banerjee for “repeatedly to sew up a national front,” Adhikari said “everyone has the right to aspire and see dreams but the problem you have to be able to achieve what you aspire for.”
On the pending Assembly by-elections in Bengal that would decide Banerjee’s fate as the Chief Minister Adhikari said that “the State Government itself has issued two circulars prohibiting mass public meetings and here she is demanding by-elections … how can it be possible … I think by-election can only take place after those above 18 years of age have been vaccinated at least with a single dose…”
Banerjee had lost to Adhikari by a slender margin of 1,900 votes in the Nandigram Assembly elections and now desperately needs to get elected before six months to remain the Chief Minister of the State.
On the vaccine issue Adhikari said that the Chief Minister was “unnecessarily making hue and cry because the Centre had been providing adequate amount of vaccines to the State … it is only the state which has failed to make proper infrastructure which is why we have wasted about 9 lakh vials … so let the State put in place the adequate cold storage system before asking for more vaccines.”