"Khela Hobe" Across India: Mamata Banerjee's Warning For Next Elections

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is in Delhi, meeting Opposition leaders.

New Delhi:

There will be "khela" across the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today as she threw down the gauntlet to the BJP with her now-famous election war cry of "Khela hobe" (game is on) that led her to victory over the BJP in Bengal.

"If Bengal could do it, so can the other states," she said.

The Trinamool Congress chief, who is a bitter critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said in a lighter vein that she has learnt Hindi from him and even chimed "Kem cho" (how are you) in Gujarati, which, she said, she learnt from Home Minister Amit Shah.

When asked how her Hindi has significantly improved over the last few years, Ms Banerjee said: "Have learnt Hindi from Narendra Modi and Gujarati from Amit Shah."

Asked if she has decided on a slogan for a united opposition like "Khela Hobe" which was used in her assembly poll campaign, Ms Banerjee said: "Poore desh mein khela hoga (The game will be played across the country)."

"It is a continuous process... When Modi will fight the next election, it will be with the country," the chief minister, who is on her first visit to the national capital after defeating the BJP in West Bengal, said implying that it will be PM Modi versus a united opposition in the next Lok Sabha polls.

The landslide victory in the West Bengal Assembly polls has buoyed Ms Banerjee to try and reach out to the rest of the country.

She is being positioned by her party as the face of a united opposition in their bid to oust the BJP in the 2024 general election. The chief minister, however, has been ambivalent about it.

"You are asking me the name of the child even before it is born," she replied to a question related to a "united opposition".

Hitting out at the PM Modi government, Ms Banerjee said that the "mismanagement" of the coronavirus crisis will hurt the BJP.

"I want to see sachhe din, bahut achhe din dekh liya (I want to see truthful days, have seen enough of good days)" the Trinamool Congress chief said, in a jibe at the BJP's 2014 poll slogan of "achhe din aane wale hai (good days are coming)."

Clad in her trademark white saree and sandals, Ms Banerjee spoke to the media in Hindi and English and also expressed her love for the sweets of Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi's Lok Sabha constituency.

"Narendra Modi was popular in 2019....Today, they have not kept a record of the bodies, last rites were denied and bodies were thrown in river Ganga. Those who lost their loved ones will not forget and forgive," she said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)