With Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu pushing for the formation of an anti-BJP coalition for Lok Sabha polls in 2019, all eyes are now on Mamata Banerjee, the regional leader who had originally sounded the bugle for such an alliance earlier this year.
When the Opposition had made a show of strength at Kumaraswamy's swearing-in as Karnataka CM in Bengaluru, it had been Mamata who appeared to have vied with the Congress party as the one to lead the Mahagathbandhan against the BJP. Back then, when she made her famous "Jo Humse Takraayega, Choor Choor ho jayega" remark about what would happen if regional parties came together, it was Naidu by her side, though he didn't have as much to say having only recently left the NDA.
Since then, however, it has been Naidu who has taken the lead. His party brought a no-confidence motion against the Modi government, and now, in just the last two weeks, he has held high-profile meetings with some of the Nation's biggest opposition leaders, including Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi, Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy, and now, MK Stalin. All these leaders have agreed to varying degrees to join with him in his efforts to form a platform to 'save the nation and save democracy'.
While addressing the news briefing with Stalin, Naidu spoke about meeting Mamata Banerjee again, while Stalin spoke about attending a massive rally Naidu would be holding. 'We will meet Mamata also, she is very strong', Naidu said, placing the TMC leader first among the 'powerful' leaders he listed.
As per a letter written to Hardik Patel by Mamata Banerjee, which has been accessed by Republic TV, the West Bengal chief minister is planning to hold a 'mammoth' rally in January 2019 in Kolkata and she has personally invited Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other regional opposition leaders to the event, likely when she visited them in New Delhi a few months ago. She hasn't held the kind of meetings that she did earlier in the year, however, as Telangana CM KCR and Omar Abdullah visited her in Kolkata, though she was present in New Delhi as Arvind Kejriwal participated in a sit-in protest at the Delhi L-G's residence.