Plans for a "mammoth, historic" 2019 election rally by the All India Trinamool Congress have been revealed by a letter of invitation that was sent by party chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to Patidar leader Hardik Patel.
The invitation, which has been exclusively accessed by Republic TV, has been issued on August 29 on Mamata Banerjee's letterhead. It states in its very first paragraph that the 'big rally' is geared towards the 'ensuing Parliament Election in 2019'.
Mamata Banerjee goes on to spell out the prevailing political situation in the country, writing:
"In the current political situation faced by the nation, it is essential for all of us to strengthen the federal structure, democratic institutions, Constitutional proprieties and to maintain the secular fabric of the country. The meeting assumes great importance for all the opposition political parties to stand together against the BJP."
She then spells out the logistics, with a particular emphasis on the size:
"It gives me great pleasure to invite you to a mammoth, historic rally at 12 noon on January 18, 2019, at the Brigade Parade Ground, where many historical meetings took place, to voice our serious concern on these crucial issues."
Continuing to talk up the rally, she adds:
"I extend this invitation on behalf of myself and the AITC at Kolkata, a place which has witnessed several important moments in our nation's rich history. I am confident that this rally shall be another such milestone."
Your august presence will no doubt strengthen the unity and integrity of the nation.
Seeking a confirmation of Hardik Patel's presence, she concludes:
"Jai Hind. Vandemataram."
The letter spells out quite clearly that Mamata Banerjee, who was among the first leaders to speak of forming a regional-front to counter the BJP, is in no mood to relinquish the 34 of 42 Lok Sabha seats her party won in the 2014 general elections, bringing it within touching distance of the AIADMK and the Congress. She has repeated her regional-front warning on numerous occasions since, most notably, her 'Jo Humse Takraayega, Woh Choor Choor Ho Jayega' (Whoever clashes with us will be broken to pieces) war cry standing alongside Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu ahead of the swearing-in of HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka CM.