Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee prophesised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party will get a “big blow” in the 2019 general elections and end up with less than 100 seats in parliament.
“Bengal will show the path,” the chief minister said at an annual rally in Kolkata to commemorate the 1993 firing outside Victoria House that killed 13 youth congress workers. Banerjee claimed that her party will corner all the 42 Lok Sabha seats, andthe BJP would take heavy losses in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Ms Banerjee also sought to puncture the BJP’s effort to characterise PM Modi’s success in the no-trust motion as a reflection of the BJP’s growing popularity in the country. The motion was negated by 325 of the 451 lawmakers, a two-third majority in excess of the NDA’s strength.
The Trinamool Congress will launch a campaign, “remove BJP, save country” on 15 August and organise a mega rally in the state on 19 January that, she said, will be attended by all India leaders from across the country. “They will see Bengal is ready,” she said.
Ms Banerjee’s aggressive pitch against the BJP and the January rally come against the backdrop of a soft campaign on and off social media that pitches her as the next prime minister.
In recent months, Ms Banerjee has brushed aside any possibility of the Congress emerging as the largest party and suggested that the federal front that she and other regional parties promote, “will be the future”.
But back in Bengal, Ms Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress will contest the election on its own.
She said those who fight against the BJP in Delhi are joining hands with the BJP in Bengal. “They have to resolve the issue,” she added. The reference was to the state Congress that, like the BJP and CPM, went to court in April and May over alleged irregularities in the panchayat polls.