As the 2024 Lok Sabha polls inch closer, there are many politicians who have brought up the possibility of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee leading the charge against the BJP. And while many insist that it is far too early to be discussing Prime Ministerial candidates, the rallying cry has since been taken up by supporters – both online and offline. Most recently on Friday, a front page article in the party’s mouthpiece Jaago Bangla had dubbed her “the real Opposition face. While the article said that the Opposition was unimaginable without the Congress, Rahul Gandhi had “not been able to stand up to Narendra Modi as the face of the Opposition”.
Against this backdrop, as Banerjee gears up for the crucial Bhabanipur bypoll election, a slew of opposition leaders as well as members of the Congress have lashed out. “I defer with the view expressed by the mouthpiece of TMC party. Such comments will certainly weaken convergence of opposition parties,” critiqued Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
“Mamata Banerjee won the West Bengal elections by fluke. Had it not been for a few electoral factors she would have lost. And now she is harbouring ambition of being a prime minister. I wish her good luck in her daydreaming,” retorted BJP MP Tejasvi Surya in Gujarat.
Surya incidentally had campaigned in West Bengal ahead of the Assembly Polls. At the time he had assured that his party would come to power with at least 200 of the 294 seats in the Trinamool-ruled eastern state.
Within the state too the BJP has been railing against the Chief Minister, stating that the BJP would “save Bengal” from the TMC supremo’s “appeasement” politics. “As long as we are there, Mamata Banerjee cannot do anything. No matter how much appeasement she does, the Tricolour will always be there and no matter how many sacrifices we have to make, we will save Bengal,” the BJP leader told ANI recently. His words came against the backdrop of Mamata Banerjee’s remarks that she would not allow anyone to turn India into Pakistan.