Yesterday’s no-confidence was a complete fiasco for the opposition and it also shattered any possibility of a strong united opposition against the BJP ahead of 2019 General elections. TRS staged a walk out, AIADMK supported the government, both BJD and Shivsena abstained from voting and the motion received less number of votes than the official commitments by various political parties. There are speculations that some TMC members didn’t even vote for the motion. In the past, Mamata Banerjee along with KCR had pitched the idea of a federal front to take on the BJP, without the Congress and Rahul Gandhi at the helm of affairs. The fact that Mamata Banerjee has strong ambitions to become Prime Minister is not hidden from anyone. While Mamata Banerjee has tried to sideline Rahul Gandhi given his weak leadership and organisational skills, the Congress has time and again voiced its concerns about this and has made it clear that it will not accept any outside leadership and wants Rahul Gandhi to lead the much hyped united opposition front.
Today, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressed the Martyrs Day rally in Esplanade near Kolkata, a major Trinamool Congress (TMC) event that is organized every year. At the rally she spelled out her strategy for 2019 General elections. After her usual rant against the BJP government, she declared that her party will contest on all the 42 Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal. She said, “2019 will be a big blow, Bengal will show the path. BJP will not win more than 150 seats in 2019 elections. Don’t require the assistance of CPI (M) or Congress in Bengal. I will fight alone here.” Mamata Banerjee further added, “We will continue our political fight against BJP, Congress and CPI (M). But our developmental programs will continue. Pledge to win the country and drive BJP out. Pledge to win all 42 seats in Bengal.” Mamata Banerjee’s declaration to go alone in 2019 in West Bengal is a big blow to the talks of opposition unity. It is a big blow to the Communists and the Congress party as well. Earlier, TMC had some support in the Northeast but not anymore. But one thing is very clear that in West Bengal there is not even an iota of possibility of united opposition. All it took was just one floor test for the BJP to burst the bubble of united opposition. If there is a three or four cornered fight in West Bengal then the BJP is likely to benefit from it the most.
Mamata Banerjee in her rally also showed her funny side. Although the jury is still out whether her remarks were intentionally funny or unintentionally. She claimed that “During the no-confidence vote in the Lok Sabha yesterday, they (NDA) got 325 votes, but in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, their strength will come down to barely 100 seats.” If she gave this statement for the entertainment of people who attended the rally then it is fine but if she is serious then there is a bad news for Rahul Gandhi. His monopoly is in danger. Mamata Banerjee is emerging as a powerful competitor to Rahul Gandhi when it comes to unintentional humor.
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