Associate with issue raised by Mamata, says Pawar

KOLKATA/ NEW DELHI: Saying that she can't tolerate "the vindictive politics of BJP that has led to a witch-hunt", West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee implored opposition leaders, including that of Congress, to unite into a "progressive force" and put up a united fight against the "oppressive BJP regime". "Central agencies are jolted to action just when elections are round the corner. It is amply clear that BJP-ruled states get a free pass from these agencies to paint a rosy picture of their hollow governance," Mamata wrote in her letter.
This comes just weeks after Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao signalled that he was ready to take the lead in making the elusive non-BJP national alliance happen. NCP chief Sharad Pawar confirmed receiving Mamata's plea for opposition parties to unite against the alleged use of central agencies to harass them. "We associate with the issue. We have yet to decide on the venue and date for the meeting. It is likely to be in Delhi or Mumbai," he told TOI.
Odisha CM and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik said he hadn't received Mamata's letter yet.
A senior TMC functionary said the aim was to form "a non-BJP opposition bloc, as opposed to a Congress-led opposition bloc". Congress should "very much be a part of a possible coalition", but the grand old party leading the initiative might turn away many potential partners fighting both Congress and BJP in their own states, he said.
Mamata and other non-NDA leaders were to meet in Delhi during the Budget session of Parliament, but the plan fizzled out after BJP won UP and three of the other four states that went to polls. Mamata said it pained her to see CMs of NDA-governed states "flouting the directives of the judiciary". "I have the highest regard for the judiciary. But at present, due to certain biased political interferences, people are not getting justice, which is a dangerous trend in our democracy."
"Central agencies like ED, CBI, Central Vigilance Commission and the I-T department are being used to target, harass and corner political opponents across the country for vendetta," Mamata said, adding that these were "direct attacks on the country's institutional democracy".

The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (

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