Mamata calls for united struggle against BJP’s ‘authoritarian rule’

In letter to key leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Trinamool chief says opposition must provide a ‘credible alternative to the people’

Photo: PTI File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has called for a “united and effective” struggle against the BJP in the country.

In a letter to 10 key leaders on Wednesday, including the Congress’s Sonia Gandhi, the Trinamool chief said the opposition must provide a “credible alternative to the people of India”.

In her letter Banerjee presented seven instances of what she called the BJP’s “assaults” on democracy and cooperative federalism.

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She raised the recent passing of the controversial National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill by both Houses of Parliament, calling it “an extremely grave development”. “The NCT Bill is a direct attack on the federal structure of the Indian Republic, as enshrined in the Constitution. It also makes a mockery of the letter and spirit of democracy since it disempowers the people of the national capital,” she wrote.

“You will agree that what the BJP has done in Delhi is not an exception but is increasingly becoming a rule.”

BJP wants to make it impossible for non-BJP parties to exercise their constitutional rights and freedoms, Banerjee said. “It wants to dilute the powers of the state governments and downgrade them to mere municipalities. In short, it wants to establish a one-party authoritarian rule in India,” she wrote.

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“I strongly believe that the time has come for a united and effective struggle against BJP’s attacks on democracy and the Constitution… As the chairperson of TMC, I shall work wholeheartedly with you and all other like-minded parties in this battle.”

Besides Sonia Gandhi, the letter was sent to Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, DMK’s Stalin, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, BJD chief Naveen Patnaik, Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekar Rao, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Rashtriya Jana Dal’s Tejaswi Yadav and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal.