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Mamata Banerjee to invite Kerala CM, Left leaders to anti-BJP rally in January
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, “CPI(M) is still trying to conspire against me. But I feel that all Leftists are not bad. So, I have decided to invite the Kerala chief minister.”

  Indicating that even arch rival CPI(M) is not an untouchable in her fight against the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said she will invite Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to attend the Trinamool’s proposed mega rally in Kolkata on January 19.

Banerjee said she will also invite (UPA chairperson) Sonia Gandhi, (Bahujan Samaj Party chief) Mayawati, (Samajwadi Party president) Akhilesh Yadav, (former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister) Omar Abdullah and other opposition leaders.

“CPI(M) is still trying to conspire against me. But I feel that all Leftists are not bad. So, I have decided to invite Kerala chief minister. I will also invite leaders from Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and All India Forward Bloc. No one is untouchable for us,” Banerjee said after meeting top party leaders on Friday evening where she drafted initial plans for the election campaign.

CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakrabarty did not pay much importance to Banerjee’s statement. “Her party workers are regularly killing our cadres and burning down their houses and she wants us to join her. The dichotomy is glaring,” he said.

Slamming the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Banerjee said: “I had no idea that RSS is more dangerous than BJP. I used to think it was a social welfare organisation and not a political party. They created communal tension in Uttar Pradesh when Akhilesh Yadav was chief minister. Now they are trying to create tension in Bengal. But it will not pay off. Trinamool will win all the 42 seats.”

Both BJP and RSS reacted sharply to Banerjee’s statements.

“The plan to organise such a rally proves how desperate she is to become the prime minister. She has her liberty to dream. But it will never be fulfilled. She should worry about her own chair,” Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said.

Reacting to Banerjee’s statement on RSS, general secretary of the organisation’s south Bengal zone, Jishnu Basu said, “She attacked the RSS because we have always raised voice against terrorist activities and throttling of democracy in Bengal.”

Banerjee thanked Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale for supporting her stand on the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Athawale, president of Republican Party of India (A), an ally of the ruling NDA, said in Kolkata on September 27 that the NRC cannot be applied in Bengal and refugees not having criminal records should be granted citizenship.

“I am thankful to Athawale for supporting me on this issue,” she said.

She said invitations have been sent to leaders of almost all major anti-BJP forces. “Chandrababu Naidu, Omar Abdullah and Arvind Kejriwal have confirmed that they will be present at the rally,” she said.
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