INDIA not staking claim to govt today doesn't mean it won't tomorrow: Mamata

Ultimately, the INDIA bloc will form the government in the coming days, West Bengal chief minister asserts

Mamata Banerjee (centre) with winning TMC MPs (photo: PTI)
Mamata Banerjee (centre) with winning TMC MPs (photo: PTI)


Asserting that the INDIA bloc administration would be seen at the Centre in the near future, West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the Opposition alliance may not have staked claim to form the government today, but that does not mean it will not do so tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of TMC MPs and senior leaders, Banerjee said her party would adopt a "wait and watch" approach and she would be pleased if the "weak and unstable" BJP-led NDA government was removed from power.

"The BJP is forming the government undemocratically and illegally. Today, the INDIA bloc may not have staked a claim to form the government, but that doesn't mean they won't tomorrow. Let’s wait for some time," she said.

Ultimately, the INDIA bloc will form the government in the coming days, the TMC chief asserted. “But let’s see how they run the (BJP) government till then,” she said.

A day after the Lok Sabha election results were announced, the INDIA bloc held a meeting in New Delhi and said it would take "appropriate steps at the appropriate time" to realise the people's desire not to be ruled by the BJP government.

The TMC had exited the INDIA bloc in West Bengal in January but Banerjee stated that she would continue to be part of the Opposition bloc at the national level, and her nephew and political heir attended the INDIA bloc meeting on 5 June.

According to sources, during the closed-door meeting with MPs in Kolkata during the day, Banerjee told party leaders and MPs that the NDA government will not complete its full term. "Mamata didi told us during the meeting that she is confident that with the BJP not getting the majority mark, the NDA government won't last long," a senior TMC leader present at the meeting said.

While talking to reporters after the meeting also, Banerjee expressed confidence that the "unstable and weak BJP government at the Centre" won’t last long. "The NDA government to be formed will be unstable. BJP has not secured a majority; they are dependent on allies. Let’s see how long they can get along with their allies," she said.

Banerjee remarked that as the mandate was against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, "he should have stepped down this time and allowed someone else to take over. The country needs change; the country wants change. This mandate was for change. We are waiting and keeping a watch on the situation," she said. The TMC supremo also said the BJP won't be able to pass bills on their own.

"In its previous term, the BJP used to pass bills on their own without any proper discussion. But they won't be able to do it this time. They won't be able to change the Constitution," she said. Asked about NDA allies JD (U) and TDP, Banerjee said, "They are our friends too. Who told you they are not with us?"

She also announced that the TMC would not attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government. "Neither we have got any invitation nor are we attending it. Tomorrow I will give my message to the people of the country for not voting in favour of the BJP," she said.

Banerjee stated that the MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha would seek the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). "This Lok Sabha is not going to be like the previous two Lok Sabhas where they passed bills as they had brute majority. Our MPs will demand the repeal of CAA. We don’t want any NRC or Uniform Civil Code. We will raise our demand for the release of due funds of the state," she said.

The TMC boss also demanded an investigation into how stock markets were "manipulated by using fake exit polls". During the meeting of the TMC MPs, Mamata Banerjee was unanimously elected as the chairperson of the TMC Parliamentary Party. "Sudip Bandyopadhyay will be the leader of the Lok Sabha, and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar will be the deputy leader of the party in Lok Sabha. Kalyan Banerjee will be chief whip," she said.

In the Rajya Sabha, Derek O'Brien will be the leader of the TMC party, whereas Sagarika Ghose will be the deputy leader. The TMC won 29 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, whereas the BJP won 12 and the Congress one seat.

“Our seats tally would have gone up to 35, had the BJP in tacit understanding with the Election Commission allowed the election process to be free and fair. But the BJP used every means so that people’s mandate is not reflected in many seats,” she said.

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