A new front or alliance minus the Congress will emerge before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, said Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Friday (March 17), after meeting West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee at her residence in Kolkata.
During his visit to Kolkata to chair the two-day Samajwadi Party (SP) national executive meet, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav told reporters, “You may call it a front, gathbandhan or an alliance, but something will emerge in some form ahead of the election as everyone wants parivartan.” There is no official statement about the front that has been issued by the SP or TMC.
Earlier in the day, talking to reporters on the sidelines of his two-day party workers’ meet in Kolkata, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said that in Bengal, they were with “Mamata didi”. He made his party’s stand clear by affirming that the SP will stand firmly with Mamata. Moreover, he also added that right now, their stand is that they want to maintain equidistance from both the BJP and the Congress.
Also read: Akhilesh Yadav indicates SP may contest from Amethi LS seat in 2024
BJP misusing central agencies
Earlier, the SP chief also slammed the BJP-led government at the Centre for misusing central agencies to “harass leaders and public representatives of opposition parties”, who pose a threat to them.
After arriving at Kolkata airport, he told reporters that the ED, CBI, and Income Tax are BJP’s political weapons. “Here, in Bengal, the instances are less. In Uttar Pradesh, several of our (SP) leaders, including MLAs, are in jail in false and fabricated cases,” he pointed out. “The BJP sends the ED and CBI to harass those Opposition parties which threaten it,” he added.
SP national executive meet in Kolkata
The SP is holding its two-day national executive in Kolkata from March 18 to discuss policies and strategies for the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh later this year and the Lok Sabha poll in 2024, said sources in the political party.
Also read: BJP might lose all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2024, says SP chief Akhilesh Yadav
Yadav addressed the workers’ meeting at Moulali Yuva Kendra this afternoon. And, then went onto Banerjee’s residence to meet her, the sources said. The two leaders share a very cordial relationship.
Yadav had lent his party’s support to TMC during the 2021 Bengal Assembly poll, which was reciprocated by Banerjee when she campaigned for the former Uttar Pradesh CM during the 2022 election in that state.