In what can be termed as a belated exercise Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written a three-page letter to 14 opposition leaders calling upon them to bury their differences and join hands to stop the BJP’s attack on democracy and Constitution of the country.
The letter written on March 28 to former Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, chief ministers of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Delhi—Uddhav Thackeray, K Chandrashekar Rao, Jaganmohan Reddy, Naveen Patnaik, Hemant Soren and Arvind Kejriwal respectively—as well as leaders of DMK, RJD, SP, National Conference, PDP and CPI-ML namely M K Stalin, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Akhilesh Prasad Yadav, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Dipankar Bhattacharya, decried on the way the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was misusing the central agencies like ED and CBI to intimidate the opposition parties.
The letter written in response to passage of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill by both the Houses of Parliament, said that this move would snatch all the power from the democratically elected government in the states and is an attack on the federal structure of the country.
Interestingly, the letter has not been sent to the leaders of CPI and CPM and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Though the letter was written on March 28, it was released to the media on March 31, that is, just on the eve of election for the Nandigram Assembly seat where Mamata herself is a candidate. Not only is the timing of the letter crucial, the inclusion of Sonia Gandhi is a bit surprising as Congress is contesting the election in West Bengal in alliance with the Left parties and against Mamata.
Several independent political observers are of the view that Mamata’s last minute appeal for opposition unity across the country has exposed her weakness when the Assembly election is at its height.