NEW DELHI: Trinamul Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has dismissed reports in a section of the media that she is a front runner for the Prime Minister’s post in 2019.
Talking to media at the Parliament House on Wednesday, Banerjee said that her priority was to oust the anti-people Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre. She called for unity of the opposition parties to achieve this.
The reports of her being a prime ministerial candidate, was triggered by TMC leader Derek O’Brien’s statement that 2018-19 is the year of “think federal.” Media interpreted it as a suggestion that regional parties will play a crucial role at the Centre and project Banerjee as one of the “most senior leaders in this matrix.”
His comments came a day after reports about the Congress being ready to accept any non-RSS candidate from among the Opposition as the next prime minister.
"I am nobody. I am a very simple worker. Let me just continue as a commoner. I want that this government must go, this BJP government. They are doing maximum political vendetta and atrocities with the people. So, we want that everybody should be united. Let us work together, don't think of Prime Ministerial candidate. Think of the country," Banerjee was quoted by IANS as saying.
Banerjee, who crossed swords with the BJP on the issue of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, said that 40 lakh people whose names were missing from the list were the family members of this country. "They belong to various states. They are our family members. They should not tell people to go out."
Asked about BJP President Amit Shah's statement that he would be going to West Bengal to address a rally on August 11, she said: "Let him go. Let him go all the 365 days. Bengal is for everybody. Bengal welcomes everybody. It is their party problem."
In reply to a question on Shah's comment about infiltrators and her remarks about a bloodbath, the Trinamool Congress chief said: "What I am saying is that what the BJP is doing will create bloodbath. They are playing with fire."
Asked about her meetings with various political parties including BJP leader L.K. Advani, she said: "I have been a Member of Parliament for seven times. I have maintained best of relations with all. And it is a kind of courtesy meeting." (With inputs from IANS)
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