Mamata emerges lone challenger to Modi as Congress, Kejriwal take backseat

The rise of Mamata Banerjee in national politics is also possible because of the debacle of the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the party won only 44 seats


West Bengal chief minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee (centre) shouts slogans as she leads a protest march against the government’s decision to withdraw high denomination notes from circulation in Kolkata on Monday. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint
West Bengal chief minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee (centre) shouts slogans as she leads a protest march against the government’s decision to withdraw high denomination notes from circulation in Kolkata on Monday. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

New Delhi: The political differences between chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has spilled beyond West Bengal during the ongoing Winter session of Parliament.

Banerjee has single-handedly led the anti-demonetisation protests in the national capital even when she and her party got little support from other political parties, including the Congress, which were trying to raise the issue in Parliament.

The Trinamool Congress has demanded that the Centre should roll-back its decision to demonetise high-value currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000.

After holding protests against Modi led government in Delhi and Kolkata in the last two weeks, the West Bengal chief minister has now decided to take her fight to election-bound states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab where she is expected to hold public meetings against the government’s decision on demonetisation.

Although the final dates of the public meetings have not been announced, Banerjee on Monday vowed that she will continue to fight against Modi and remove him from politics. “I take the pledge that I may die in the process but I shall remove Narendra Modi from politics. I want to see the end of it,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said at a rally in Kolkata.

Interestingly, Banerjee has also decided to campaign against demonetisation in Bihar. While chief minister Nitish Kumar and Banerjee have a comfortable political equation but the two leaders are at odds over demonetisation.

Banerjee has opposed it but Nitish Kumar has supported the move and didn’t even take part in the nationwide protests called by opposition parties on 28 November.

The rise of Banerjee at the centrestage of politics is also possible because of the debacle of the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the party won only 44 seats—its lowest tally in any general elections.

In the absence of a strong opposition party against the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Banerjee has tried to capture the space of the opposition with little help coming from Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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