Home / News / India /  Amartya Sen stresses role of regional parties in 2024 Lok Sabha polls, says 'Mamata Banerjee has the ability...'

As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections loom increasingly closer, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Saturday highlighted the role of regional parties. He also touched upon the possibility of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee becoming the Prime Minister.

The 90-year-old economist asserted that it “would be a mistake" to think that the polls would be a one-horse race in favour of the BJP, underscoring the significance of parties such as the DMK, TMC and Samajwadi Party.

"If the BJP looks strong and powerful, it has a good deal of weakness too. So, I think other political parties will be able to come to a debate if they really try. I do not know enough to be able to dismiss the anti-BJP parties together," he said.

“I think a number of regional parties are clearly important. I think the DMK is an important party, the TMC is certainly important and the Samajwadi Party has some standing but whether that could be extended I do not know," he told news agency PTI.

With opposition parties working to stitch together an alliance for the General elections, several names have been put forth for the role of Chief Ministerial candidate. These include Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee. Congress leaders have also spoken about the possibility of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi being the CM face of the Opposition.

Sen however opined that while Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee had the ability to lead the country, it was yet to be determined whether the West Bengal Chief Minister could pull together public sentiment against the BJP.

"It's not that she does not have the ability to do it. She clearly has the ability. On the other hand, it's yet not established that Mamata can pull the forces of public dismay against the BJP in an integrated way to make it possible for her to have the leadership to put an end to the fractionalisation in India," the economist said.

While leaders of several parties including Sharad Pawar's NCP and Kumar's Janata Dal (United) have called for a new alliance that includes the Congress, Sen remains somewhat skeptical about the ‘weakened’ parties chances in 2024.

"The Congress seems to have weakened a lot and I do not know how much somebody can rely on Congress. On the other hand, Congress certainly provides an all-India vision which no other party can take over. Then again, there are divisions within the Congress," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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