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Apr 25, 2018 05:19 PM IST | Source: PTI

Congress has to decide whether it will join federal front: Mamata Banerjee

When asked whether the federal front will include the Congress, the TMC supremo said, "The answer lies in the future. The Congress has to decide whether it will join the federal front."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the Congress has to decide whether it will join the federal front mooted by her to take on the BJP, and it has to agree to a one-on-one fight in all the states. During an interview with a Bengali news channel, she claimed that it would be difficult for the BJP to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

When asked whether the federal front will include the Congress, the TMC supremo said, "The answer lies in the future. The Congress has to decide whether it will join the federal front."

She told the channel, "The Congress is there in Karnataka. Why should I go there? Similarly, DMK is in Tamil Nadu, TRS is in Telengana, Akhilesh (Yadav) is there in Uttar Pradesh. We will give support to them. The Congress has to agree to the one-on-one formula."

Banerjee said all these regional parties have to work together on the basis of a common minimum agenda in the interest of the country.

"The Congress has its limitations. It has to accept it," she told the 'News 18 Bangla' channel.

"The federal front is the main criteria. It has its importance," Banerjee said, adding, "I am happy doing politics in the state. I want betterment of the people."

Claiming that the Congress did not want to fight the BJP in the Tripura Assembly elections, she said, "We (TMC) wanted to give 30 seats to the Congress in Tripura to fight the poll together but they did not agree to it."

The chief minister said it would be tough for the BJP to win the 2019 general elections because small and medium industries, unorganised and rural sectors have suffered due to demonetisation and hasty implementation of the GST.

Fuel prices have also shot up, she said.

"The people are not happy with them (BJP) because atrocities were committed on the Dalits, people were divided on communal lines," Banerjee alleged.

She predicted that in the upcoming Assembly polls in Karnataka, Congress would win it but has to take the support of the JD(S).

On the unrest in Darjeeling, she said the hill area and the tribal Jangalmahal were the main challenges when her government came to power.

"The Centre and (GJM leader) Bimal Gurung had a role in Darjeeling. I want permanent peace in Darjeeling. I am happy that people are living in peace in Jangalmahal," the chief minister said and alleged that there was interference by foreign powers in Darjeeling due to its strategic location.
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