Free Press Journal

Voting for Meira to protest BJP’s atrocities: Mamata Banerjee


Kolkata : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her party’s support for opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar is a mark of protest against the BJP’s “atrocities” and urged opposition parties to come together by utilising the advantageous timing.

“We are voting for Meira Kumar because it’s a vote against the atrocities of the Bharatiya Janata Party, violence in the name of cow vigilantism, interference in federal structure… It’s a vote against injustice.

“I think Meira Kumar will get the maximum votes from West Bengal assembly as the Trinamool Congress voted for her,” Banerjee told the media here at the assembly. She said her Trinamool voted for Meira Kumar knowing she might lose.

The BJP-led NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind is expected to win since the NDA has the numbers.

“We will have respect for whoever wins the race, which will probably be with BJP’s support. But we want all the opposition parties to come on one platform and unite in the political battle,” said Banerjee.

She also stressed the time is right for all Opposition parties to come together.“This is a good time to form a coalition. We have strengthened the process of forming a coalition through casting votes in the Presidential election,” she said.

Banerjee said that the Trinamool will play an aggressive role in raising voices against Darjeeling and Kashmir violence, terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims, violence in the name of cow vigilantes, and interference in federal structure in the coming parliament session.

“They (BJP) will incite communal violence and then ask states to prevent this…,” she said. Lawmakers across India voted on Monday to elect the country’s 14th President. Incumbent Pranab Mukherjee demits office on July 25.

Several SP MLAs, myself voted for Kovind: Shivpal

Lucknow: The bickering in the Samajwadi Party came to the fore during the presidential poll on Monday when senior party leader Shivpal Yadav said over 15 legislators including himself voted for NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

In the state assembly to vote, Shivpal, the estranged uncle of party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, said “his vote will also go to Kovind as ‘Neta ji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav) had ordered so”. He also said “there were more than a dozen legislators of the party who were toeing the line of former party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav”.

The Samajwadi Party, which has 47 MLAs in the 403-member House, is officially backing the Congress-led Opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar, the former Lok Sabha Speaker.