'Rahul Gandhi free to give opinion': Mamata Banerjee on Congress chief's claim that he is ready to be PM

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that the Congress cannot have a majority on its own in the next Lok Sabha polls and the federal front being mooted by her and other regional parties will be "the future".

Banerjee, also the supremo of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, said the future lies with the federal front, a concept she has been pushing for quite some time now.

Mamata Banerjee

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

"Various regional parties will emerge victorious in their respective states. Federal Front of regional parties is the future. If regional parties come together and form a platform, it would be good for the country," she said in an interview to Bengali news channel Zee 24Ghanta.

On Rahul Gandhi's claim that he is ready to become the prime minister if the Congress emerges the largest party in the 2019 polls, Banerjee said: "He is free to give his opinion. But the fact is, in the present situation of the country, the Congress can never have a majority of its own."

Asked if she will lead the front of regional parties, Banerjee said everybody will work like a "united family" and whatever is good for the country will be done.

Banerjee predicated the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti and the Telugu Desam Party will perform well in the Lok Sabha polls.

Earlier this year, Banerjee had said she would try to unite all anti-BJP forces to defeat the saffron party in the general elections. She had met several opposition leaders, including TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, in an effort to cobble up a formidable front against the BJP.

In the interview, she predicted that neither the Congress nor the BJP will get a majority in the Karnataka Assembly polls and the JD(S) will emerge as the kingmaker.

"The Congress should have worked more tactfully with HD Deve Gowda, it would have helped them," she said.

Banerjee lauded the performance of Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh, chief ministers of BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively, but said the saffron party will lose assembly elections in the two states.


Updated Date: May 12, 2018 15:12 PM

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