According to a senior leader from the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) party, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s recent endorsement of the Congress party, following a period of intense criticism, was influenced by a meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
According to KC Tyagi’s statement to NDTV, he mentioned that it was Mr. Kumar who proposed the “One-On-One” approach to Ms. Banerjee. Later, she adopted this strategy, emphasizing that powerful regional parties should be given the freedom to confront the BJP in their respective regions during the 2024 elections. In return, these regional parties would support the Congress in approximately 200 seats where both national parties are directly competing.
According to his statement, Mamata Banerjee has abandoned her plans of creating a non-Congress coalition ahead of the 2024 elections. This decision was revealed during her meeting with Nitish Kumar. He mentioned that when Nitish Kumar met Mamata Banerjee, she expressed a favorable attitude toward the formation of a unified opposition front.
Mr. Tyagi stated that Mamata Banerjee had a different viewpoint previously, as she aimed to establish a non-Congress third front. However, her stance has now changed, and she has embraced Nitish Kumar’s approach, which suggests that opposition parties should field one candidate against the BJP in each constituency.
According to his statement, Mamata Banerjee had previously proposed convening a gathering of opposition leaders in Patna, considering Bihar’s historical significance as a catalyst for change during Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement. However, her perspective regarding the formation of a non-Congress third front with KCR and Arvind Kejriwal has now transformed.
The JD-U leader mentioned that Nitish Kumar’s strategy for fostering unity among the opposition, which involves putting forth a single candidate against a BJP candidate, is now gaining acceptance among a broader set of individuals.
Following the Congress’ significant victory over the BJP in Karnataka, Mamata Banerjee made an announcement indicating a change in her approach to the 2024 elections. She revealed her decision to abandon the idea of going solo and instead proposed a collaborative solution involving the opposition parties, including Congress, to address their differences and work together.
Despite the struggles to establish a cohesive front, Mamata Banerjee, the leader of the Trinamool party, was among the opposition leaders who opposed the notion of the Congress taking a prominent position in a potential alliance to counter the BJP in the 2024 elections.
According to Ms. Banerjee, in regions where regional parties hold strong influence, the BJP faces significant challenges and cannot effectively compete. The outcome of the Karnataka election serves as a clear indication of the public’s opposition to the BJP, as people are feeling disgruntled, witnessing injustices, experiencing economic decline, and witnessing a disregard for democratic rights.
According to Ms. Banerjee, the strategy should be for parties that possess strength and support in specific regions to collaborate and fight together. Using the example of Bengal, she suggests that the Trinamool party should contest there, while in Delhi, AAP should take the lead. In Bihar, it is up to Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, and the Congress to determine the approach. She emphasizes that she cannot dictate their formula. Similarly, in Chennai, the DMK and Congress have a friendly alliance and can join forces, while in Jharkhand, the JMM-Congress alliance is in place. Ultimately, the decision lies with the respective parties in different states to choose their preferred approach.
Ms. Banerjee expressed the importance of prioritizing the stronger party in a given region. She suggested that wherever the Congress holds strength, particularly in approximately 200 seats as per their calculations, they should contest, and the other parties should extend their support. She emphasized that this approach applies to everyone, and if they desire positive outcomes, they must be willing to make sacrifices in certain areas.