Kolkata, Jan 6: With Lok Sabha elections round the corner, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) is gearing up to emerge as the biggest regional political grouping in the country.
The party is all out to command a significant share of the anti-BJP political space in the general elections due to be held between April and May this year.
Ahead of the coming Lok Sabha elections, Ms Banerjee is being seen as a major force in the nation's electoral politics. She has floated the idea of a federal front in an effort to unite the regional parties to take on the BJP.
The TMC may shuffle its pack of 34 MPs in the state to maximise its numbers in the next Lok Sabha, with Ms Banerjee making a determined bid to play a greater role at the Centre after the 2019 general elections.
This time, the TMC wants Ms Banerjee as the kingmaker of an anti-BJP government if not its Prime Minister. The seats in Bengal might prove key as the chief minister has emerged as a key in bringing together the opposition against the BJP and she would need the numbers to make a play to be its leader.
The 63-year-old feisty politician emerged as a prudent leader and an ‘icon of change’ in the state. In fact, it seems that Bengal has no other leader of the stature of Ms Banerjee. Her energy, charisma and political astuteness made her one of the few mass leaders in the country.
By building a reputation of being a giant killer after ending 34 years of CPI(M) rule in the state in 2011, ensuring that the Trinamool Congress won 34 of the 42 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and by winning a second term as chief minister with a landslide mandate in the 2016 assembly elections, Ms Banerjee has established herself as a national leader in her own right.
With her vast experience in politics and governance -- she is a seven-time member of Parliament with stints as a Union minister in three central governments, including the National Democratic Alliance and United Progressive Alliance--and now offering a gritty resistance to the BJP juggernaut, Ms Banerjee has emerged as the prime challenger to Prime Ministers Narendra Modi's might and ambition of being re-elected next year. (UNI)