West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is playing a pivotal role in building a strong opposition front against the ruling BJP, welcomed the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming Parliamentary polls on Saturday.
A vociferous critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo has been touring the country over the last one year, trying to build an Opposition alliance to take on the saffron party in the Lok Sabha polls.
She has invited Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and the leaders of various other opposition parties, including the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Janata Dal (Secular), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the People's Democratic Party (PDP), the National Conference (NC), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Congress and many others to attend a January 19 rally of a united opposition convened by her at the Brigade Parade grounds here.
Although most of the parties have confirmed attending the rally, the Congress is yet to announce whether it will take part in it and whether party chief Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi will be present on the occasion.
Banerjee had earlier suggested that an alliance between the SP and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh would wipe out the BJP from the crucial Hindi heartland state that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
Last year, after the victories of the SP-BSP joint candidates in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Banerjee had, in a series of tweets, said it was the beginning of the end for the BJP.
A strong advocate of an opposition front, Banerjee has time and again called for putting up a one-on-one fight against the saffron party to ensure the maximum polling of anti-BJP votes.
The TMC chief has already announced that her party will contest all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)