Indian Express

PM candidate, a fictional idea, says Mamata Banerjee

Asserting that the states should have more power, Mamata said the federal structure has to be strengthened. Tweet This
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mamata-main Mamata expressed confidence that a federal front will form the next government because "people of India are 'bahut' (very) wise."

Trashing pre-poll surveys putting Narendra Modi ahead in the prime ministerial race, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the idea of a PM candidate is “fictional” as it is not backed by Constitution.

“The ‘PM candidate’ is a fictional idea. There is no such thing in the Constitution,” she said, adding that in a parliamentary democracy, the people elect MPs who then select the PM.

In an interview, the West Bengal Chief Minister said, “Let them get a majority first. To those who are saying Namo, Namo, we are saying No-No, No-No,” she said, targeting Modi who last Friday went hammer and tongs against Banerjee in an election rally near Siliguri.

She expressed confidence that a federal front will form the next government because “people of India are ‘bahut’ (very) wise.”

The federal front, she said, comprises political parties which are keen to fight corruption, dynasty rule and communalism, which both Congress and BJP have failed to do.

“Congress has lost all credibility, accountability and morality to rule. We cannot do away with a corrupt government and bring a party whose face symbolises communal rioting,” she said. “On the counting day, you will see even if you add up the Congress and BJP seats, it will be below 273. This is the political reality,” Banerjee said.

Alleging that Congress and BJP have “formed a syndicate to sell India”, she said, “Congress is anti-people. They are increasing the prices of essential commodities – from fuel to fertilisers.”

Banerjee, who had earlier said BJP is not the alternative to Congress and Congress is not the alternative to BJP, now said “BJP and Congress are the same”. Hitting out at Narendra Modi without naming him, Banerjee said, “The BJP has a person with blood of innocents killed in riots on his hands hoping to be the PM”.

Asked if TMC will support a BJP-led government minus Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister, Banerjee said, “There are too many ifs and buts in your question. Politics is not about ifs and buts. I have told you I am hopeful about the Federal Front.”

BJP’s ideology is to divide people on religious lines, she alleged, saying “we do not have to learn about Hinduism from BJP. It is a communal party. So no question of supporting Congress, BJP and CPI(M). We are fighting them daily.”

Asked about Rahul Gandhi’s maturity as a politician, she said, “I am a commoner. Some are born with a golden spoon.

During election time they can be seen mingling with people and talking about poverty and empowerment. What will they know of poverty and struggle? People have already rejected Congress”.

On whether she would agree to become the Prime Minister if the federal front comes to power, she expressed surprise, “Why only me? There are many other leaders who can be good leaders for the country. People will decide continued…

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