Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asserted that her party Trinamool Congress’ proposed opposition rally on January 19 will see participation of non-BJP parties from “Kashmir to Kanyakumari”.
Banerjee, however, said she is yet to get a response from the Left parties on attending the rally at Brigade Parade Ground, which she claimed will be the biggest public meeting in the eastern region in the last four decades. The Congress will be represented by its senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, she said. On the presence of Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, she said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was yet to confirm and “perhaps someone else will be nominated to represent her party”.
“You will witness how big the representation will be this year from all regions. Heavy-weight national leaders, including a former prime minister and ex-chief ministers will attend this meeting,” she told reporters at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ here. The TMC has forwarded invitations to several opposition parties, including the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Janata Dal (Secular), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the National Conference (NC) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
“Political leaders from Kashmir to Kanyakumari — H D Devegowda (former PM), H D Kumaraswamy (Karnataka CM), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi CM), Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party chief), Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party chief), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference chief) — and many more will be attending the rally,” Banerjee claimed. On the participation of Left parties, she said: “I had invited the Left, including the Kerala Chief Minister. I have performed my responsibility. If any party does not want to come due to political compulsions, I respect the decision.” Banerjee has been touring the country for the last one year, attempting to stitch together a strong opposition front to challenge the saffron party in the Lok Sabha polls.