July 13, 2021 5:05:56 am
Trinamool Congress (TMC) Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay on Monday called for greater unity among Opposition parties in Parliament to target the Central government on burning issues, and said it was not necessary that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would have to be the face of Opposition unity.
After offering prayers at the Tarapith Kali temple in Birbhum district, Bandyopadhyay told reporters, “Parliament will commence from July 19. As I am a parliamentary party leader in the Opposition, I have huge responsibilities. It is our duty to put forward a united approach in Parliament to highlight several issues. We have been doing this since 2014. Later, there was a lack of coordination and unity amongst the Opposition parties. This time, we will give efforts to overcome this and put up a united fight.”
The senior TMC MP’s comments came in the backdrop of a meeting of Opposition party leaders at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in New Delhi in June, giving rise to speculation about the formation of a Third Front. After winning power in Bengal for the third straight term by halting the BJP juggernaut, the TMC has set its eyes on the 2024 general elections. It has been campaigning for Opposition unity to unseat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
Bandyopadhyay, the Kolkata Uttar MP, said Mamata Banerjee and the TMC could be an alternative to the BJP at the Centre. “Today, people of the country have found an alternative to the present government in Mamata Banerjee. I feel this will help us put up a united fight against the Centre. But Mamata Banerjee does not believe in taking the centre stage. She believes in working from behind while others take the lead from the front,” he added.
“In Parliament, we will raise the issue of the rising price of fuel. We will give notice for discussion on this. But we will feel that this time there is a need for greater coordination amongst the Opposition parties. But we do not want to keep any condition that Mamata Banerjee has to be the face of Opposition unity. Let us first stand united and fight against the Central government. We will find a face of the Opposition on the way,” Bandyopadhyay added.
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