A day after a rally organised by the Aam Aadmi Party at Jantar Mantar brought the entire Opposition together, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that AAP is keen on an alliance with the Congress in Delhi. She further stated that it is now up to the Congress to reciprocate.
The TMC chief also said there is no confusion about a pre-poll alliance, saying the people are “very smart” and will unite against the BJP in the upcoming general elections. Her statement came a day after the leaders of six Opposition parties met at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in Delhi and discussed the idea of a national pre-poll alliance.
Pitching for a united Opposition to take on BJP, Mamata said: “In Rajasthan, the Congress is strong, we are not fighting; in MP we are not fighting. But where we are strong let us fight.”
In a veiled attack on PM Modi, she said: “The leader of the country cannot divide the people…there are many leaders here.”
She also said that the opposition parties will meet again on February 26 or 27 in Delhi.
“We will take it forward from there. We want to save the nation not ourselves,” she said.
While speaking to reporters in Delhi, Mamata also reacted to the Saradha chit fund probe. She said chit funds have functioned since the 1980s. While referring to the accused in the scam, she said, “My government acted against them, set up commissions, returned Rs 300 cr to poor people. We want CBI to return seized property.”
The chit fund probe recently led to a stalemate between the CBI and the West Bengal police when the central probe agency was prevented by the state police from meeting with Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar. Banerjee held a rally in West Bengal against the CBI and central government.
After the Supreme Court intervened in the matter, Kumar was directed to appear before the CBI and “faithfully” cooperate in the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam. Kumar has since appeared before officials of the CBI on multiple occasions.
In Thursday’s press conference in the national capital, Mamata also took potshots at the Centre over “sting” operations, accusing PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and NSA Ajit Doval of misusing the government agencies, while referring to CBI particularly. She said that officers of CBI are not bad but the PM, Shah and Doval call them home and tell them “do something arrest these people”.
“Sting is illegal, they can’t give roti kapda makaan, but they pay for stings. I don’t want to talk about sting,” she said.