Ahead of the second leg of the Parliament’s budget session that will begin on March 13, the Trinamool Congress led by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has chalked out their strategy to corner the BJP government.
The Chief Minister and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee held an informal meeting with MPs Sudip Banerjee and Derek O’Brien to discuss their plan. Sources say several key decisions have been taken following the meeting on how the TMC will perform in Parliament and a list of key agendas was also discussed.
First on TMC’s Parliament agenda would be the ongoing SBI-LIC issue. The TMC plans to highlight how national institutions are in ‘danger’ because of several central government policies.
TMC will also corner the central government over the rise in prices of essential goods post the elections. Sources say Mamata Banerjee has instructed her MPs to go all out on this issue. Seniors have also been advised to talk to other political parties about this issue. Party insiders believe that a united collective effort could be expected in Parliament over the price rise issue.
Another issue in TMC’s parliament plan is the deteriorating ties between the centre and states. TMC claims that the ‘killing’ of federal structures is a key issue for the party and alleges that this is hindering development in states like West Bengal.
The issue of ‘alleged misuse’ of central agencies by the BJP government has already featured in a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by CM Mamata Banerjee and other opposition leaders. This issue would also be among the top things on the TMC’s Parliament agenda for the upcoming session. Sources say the TMC wants to discuss the issue and debate it unitedly.
Opposition leaders have repeatedly criticized the government for its use of government agencies. Big names in the TMC have faced the wrath of central agencies and a couple of their top leaders remain in jail. TMC sources also indicate that it intends to hold talks with other opposition parties so as to raise all these issues in Parliament.
Women’s reservation bills, safe borders and unemployment are also among other issues that are likely to feature in TMC’s Parliament rebuttal to the BJP government