Akhilesh Yadav Meets Mamata Banerjee, Hints at Third Front Minus Congress

"The Congress should not feel that it is the big boss of the opposition front," the TMC said.

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party on Friday, March 17, hinted that a new front without the Congress party is in the making to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 elections.

“Front, alliance, or gathbandhan whatever you call it…,” SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said, according to Hindustan Times, after meeting West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Friday.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister is on a two-day visit to Kolkata for his party’s national executive in the city.

On the Congress party, he said, “Regional parties are competent enough to decide their roles. The Congress has to decide its role. Nobody should take any step which might have any adverse impact (on fighting the BJP).”

Trinamool MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said that Congress should not behave like it is the “big boss” of the opposition, and said that his party would go on its own way and would not be thinking of forming a third front at the moment.

“We will go our own way, maintain distance from the Congress and the BJP. We are not talking about forming any third front at the moment… The Congress should not feel that it is the big boss of the opposition front,” HT quoted Bandyopadhyay as saying.

The TMC said Banerjee would be meeting several regional leaders in the next coming days. She is expected to meet Odisha chief minister and Biju Janata Dal leader, Naveen Patnaik, next week.

Referring to the logjam in parliament over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comments in the UK recently, the TMC MP said the BJP intends to see Gandhi as “the face” of the opposition.

“Rahul Gandhi made comments abroad and BJP will not let parliament function till he apologises. This means they don’t want parliament to function by using Congress. The BJP wants Rahul Gandhi to be the face (of opposition) so that it helps the BJP. There is no need to decide on a prime ministerial face (for 2024 election),” Bandyopadhyay told NDTV.

Last month, at a meeting convened by CPI (ML-Liberation), Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar implicitly said that he does not see any future for a non-Congress opposition front and conveyed that his party would be willing to be part of a grand alliance consisting of all opposition parties irrespective of their differences.