Mumbai: Holding back on who will be the opposition bloc’s Prime Ministerial candidate, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the “PM face is secondary” and the “PM face will be INDIA”. “We have not held any conversations on PM face. We are all the same and are members of the INDIA family. We want to save our country. Who will be the PM face is secondary. PM face will be INDIA,” Mamata Banerjee said in a press release by the All India Trinamool Congress.
Explaining her reference to Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan as “Bharat Ratna”, Mamata Banerjee said, “…this is the first time I met somebody l consider Bharat’s Ratna – Amitabh Bachchan – at his residence. We held great conversations and reminisced about the old days. Amitji started his life in Kolkata and Jaya Ji too has worked in our state. I love this family. They are the Number 1 Indian family and are legendary.”
Mamata Banerjee also said that the government should have bestowed Bharat Ratna to Amitabh Bachchan much earlier and that if it had been in her hands she would have done so in “seconds”.
“If it was in my hands, I would have bestowed the title of Bharat Ratna on Amitabh Bachchan within seconds. This should have been done long back. Today, I am raising the voice on behalf of the people that Amit ji is our Bharat Ratna and there are a lot of contributions of his family.”
Extending an invitation to Amitabh Bachchan to come to West Bengal for Durga Puja celebrations, she also thanked him and the film fraternity for coming to the International Film Festival in Kolkata.
“l have invited him to come to West Bengal for Durga Puja celebrations. I thank the film stars including Amit ji, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Mahesh Bhatt for coming to the International Film Festival in Kolkata. Anil Kapoor has also agreed,” he said.
Extending her greetings on Rakha Bandhan, the West Bengal Chief Minister said, “What l am happiest about is the fact that l tied Rakhi to Amitabh Bachchan ji. It is an auspicious day today. I extend my greetings on Rakhi to men and women across Maharashtra, Bengal, and India. We tie rakhis to even women as this is our tradition. There is no discrimination between men and women. I extend Rakhi greetings to all ISRO scientists.”
In an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for decreasing the price of LPG cylinders by Rs 200, Mamata Banerjee compared it to “bargaining with a shopkeeper who prices his wares higher than their cost at the outset.”
“BJP increased the price of LPG cylinders by Rs 800 and decreased it by Rs 200. It is like bargaining with a shopkeeper who prices his wares higher than their cost at the outset. First, they increase the prices and then reduce the amount ahead of elections. Today, LPG cylinders are priced at Rs 900. Even at that rate, it is not affordable for many across the country as we have many poor families,” the Bengal Chief Minister said.
INDIA Bloc’s Meeting In Mumbai Today
It may be noted that the leaders at the helm of the recently established INDIA alliance, a coalition of opposition forces, are set to convene for their third meeting in Mumbai this Thursday. Over the course of a two-day assembly, the alliance is expected to reveal a coordination committee and a distinctive logo emblematic of their unified front. Additionally, the forum is anticipated to establish panels entrusted with crafting a shared foundational agenda for the alliance, devising collaborative strategies for nationwide protests, and grappling with the intricate task of seat allocation – a pivotal and challenging endeavour.
The forum’s deliberations will also encompass charting a comprehensive joint action plan to confront the incumbent BJP in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Moreover, the INDIA alliance is poised to unveil a secretariat in New Delhi, designed to facilitate seamless interaction among its constituents.
Gathering under the banner of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), 63 delegates hailing from 28 political parties will assemble at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai on August 31 and September 1.