Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Friday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata hinting that she will be the prime ministerial candidate of the anti-BJP front. After meeting Mamata at Nabanna, the West Bengal Secretariat, Omar said that "we will take Mamata to the national capital so that she can replicate the work that she did in Kolkata for the entire country".
Omar Abdullah who reached Kolkata on Friday acknowledged CM Mamata's concern for the state of Jammu and Kashmir and said the current situation of his state was discussed. "We had a discussion about the present situation in the nation and about the fear that prevails in minorities throughout the country," he added.
Speaking on their respective parties, Omar's National Conference (NC) and Mamata's Trinamool Congress (TMC), he said that there is no difference between the parties.
Amidst speculations over a grand alliance of opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Omar said that they haven't decided what their alliances would be called. However, he clearly said "all those who are against BJP can join us. We will try to defeat the BJP".
Watch: Mamata Banerjee could be PM candiate of anti-BJP front in 2019, hints Omar
He also said, "let us not talk about the prime minister as the dates for the Lok Sabha elections have not been announced yet".
Speaking to reporters, CM Mamata said leaving a few most of the regional parties are against the BJP. She said that the anti-BJP front will stand for all the people. In a jibe to the BJP, Mamata said that the behaviour of the Central government is shameful. She added that the TMC is being threatened by the BJP and termed the BJP rule as dictatorship. She assured that the after the 2019 elections if the anti-BJp front wins then it'll be a government of the people, for the people and by the people
Wishing Omar, the chief minister said, "We wish him all the best. He is a young leader. I'm grateful that Omar has come down. I want to see him grow as a leader of the country.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Abdulah said; "Of course no discussions between the two of us would be complete without discussing the prevailing situation in the country. The fear that prevails among the minority community in the country and also the need that is there for us to be together for a united front, a united force and take on the BJP in the forthcoming General Election next year".
"Going ahead the other parties also have to be included. We will try to set aside the differences as far as possible and go for the best in terms of taking the fight to the BJP in 2019," he said.
Asked whether Congress would be a part of the proposed federal front, Abdullah, while refusing to give a name to the proposed alliance, said it would be wrong to pick and choose between the parties, stressed on the importance of assembling all the anti-BJP forces together.
"We haven't given the alliance any name yet. The names are being given by the media. All parties that are against BJP, will be made a part of this initiative. There is no restriction on any parties.
"It will be wrong to say that we will allow certain parties to be in the alliance while some others will be left out. Our attempt would be to assemble all the parties that are against BJP to put up a fight against them in the coming election," he said.
However, he refused to comment on whether the opposition should opt for a one-on-one fight with the BJP in the poll.
Omar Abdullah termed the ongoing unrest in Kashmir as one of the biggest failures of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, saying the situation in the Valley has worsened since 2014.
"One of the biggest failures of BJP has been Jammu and Kashmir. The security situation in the state has been deteriorating since 2014," said Abdullah, who met Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat.
"The reality is that the BJP government at the Centre was unable to conduct even a parliamentary by-election for a seat vacated by Mehbooba Mufti," he said.