‘No problem if someone else leads’: Mamata Banerjee on Oppn face for 2024 polls

Mamata Banerjee's visit to Delhi comes amid several signals of increasing Opposition unity ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday remained non-committal when asked if she would be the face of the Opposition to take on the ruling BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“I am not a political astrologer. It depends on the situation, structure. I have no problem if someone else leads. When the matter is discussed we can decide. I cannot impose,” Banerjee told reporters amid several signals of increasing Opposition unity.

On the leadership issue, she said: “I want to help all the opposition parties to bell the cat. I don’t want to be a leader, but a simple cadre.”

The TMC supremo met Congress president Sonia Gandhi later in the day and is expected to meet Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. On Tuesday, she had met Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Kamal Nath before meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I maintain good relations with most of the chief ministers, including Jagan Mohan Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), and Stalin (Tamil Nadu),” she said. “After Parliament session, there will be talks, there should be a common platform to work together,” she told reporters, adding that she would be talking to all parties.

I want to see sachcha din, bahut acha din dekh liya (I want to see truthful days, we have seen enough ‘good days’)” Banerjee quipped while taking potshots at the BJP’s poll slogan.

Speaking about the Pegasus snooping row, which has stalled Parliament proceedings multiple times as the Opposition leaders continue to protest against the alleged surveillance, the West Bengal CM said, “The Centre should have taken suo moto move to have a probe into the allegations. In a democracy, you need to respond. The situation is very bad, worse than Emergency.”

On Tuesday, Banerjee had met PM Modi and stated that he should convene an all-party meet to discuss the Pegasus issue and decide on a Supreme Court-led probe.

Meanwhile, Opposition leaders held a meeting both on Tuesday and Wednesday and decided to chalk out the future course of action on several issues in both the Houses, including the Pegasus row, farm laws and price rise. Sources in the Opposition camp have also claimed that the government side had indicated that it was ready for a discussion on any subject, barring the Pegasus revelations.

— With inputs from PTI

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