West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu today pitched for all regional parties to come together for development of a federal setup in the country. Here to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Congress-JDS coalition government led by H D Kumaraswamy, the two leaders said they want to promote regional parties and strengthen them.
Both Banerjee and Naidu said they were happy that the leader of a regional party was assuming office and they were here to express their solidarity with the JDS. “We are present here to support Kumaraswamy ji and his government and we hope for the best,” Banerjee told reporters with Naidu standing next to her. “We will keep in touch with all the regional parties so that we can work for the development of the nation, development of the people and development of the federal set-up also,” the West Bengal chief minister added.
If states are strong, the Centre would also be strong, she said adding, “Our mission and vision is very clear, that we can meet each other, we can talk to each other, and we can go to every state and talk to each other that will give us more strength for the future of the country.” The oath-taking ceremony with the participation of a galaxy of opposition leaders and chief ministers is being seen as a development that could plant a seed for a broad-based anti-BJP platform before the Lok Sabha polls next year.
On his part, Naidu expressed happiness about a leader of a regional party taking over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. “I met Mamata ji and we all have come here to witness the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy. He is from a regional party and we are very happy that he has become the Chief Minister of Karnataka,” he said. “We are expressing our solidarity, and also in future we will work together to protect ourselves and to promote nation, that’s our agenda” he added.
Asked whether this is the coming together of a front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP, Naidu said “We want to promote more and more regional parties. We want to strengthen (regional parties). That is Mamata ji’s and our party’s mission and that is how we are working.”
To a question on whether his party TDP was fine with the Congress’ presence at such a platform, he said, “we are witnessing Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony and he is from a regional party.”