Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asserted that her party would play a crucial role in forming the next government at the Centre, after the Lok Sabha polls. Banerjee also claimed that the BJP would not be able to retain power at the Centre after the elections, and many of its allies, including the Shiv Sena, would sever ties with the NDA.
"There will be no government formed without the TMC. They (the BJP) have only one arrogant man in him (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). But we have so many leaders who have credibility... So, we will decide it (on the PM face of the opposition alliance) later... Let the elections be over," she told a Bengali news channel.
Terming Bengal as a "friend, philosopher and guide" to the country, the TMC chief said she is not hungry for power but wants the state to help form the next government. "I do not want power. I want Bengal to show the path and help form a new government at the Centre. When nobody can, it's Bengal that can show the light," Banerjee said.
She said all the regional parties will come together after the elections, and a "big national party" will have to extend support to that "united force". Asked whether that national party could be the Congress, Banerjee replied in the affirmative.
"Congress must do it (extend support to the United forum of regional parties)... which will support secularism and make efforts to keep the country together...," she said. On her role in the forming the new dispensation, Banerjee said, "I do not know whether I will be a key factor or not, but I will work together with everybody to keep the country intact. I want the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, the minorities, the OBCs, SCs, STs and Dalits to stay together. I will work to take the country forward."
To another query, the chief minister said she shared cordial relationships with leaders like Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and M K Stalin. "I have cordial relationships with everybody because I am into politics for a long time. I know each and every state," she said.
(With inputs from agencies.)