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Deve Gowda: Not averse to Mamata Banerjee as PM face

Pitching for a “formidable front” against the BJP, former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda has said he is not averse to projecting Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the Opposition’s prime ministerial face for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

In an interview to PTI in Delhi over the weekend, Mr. Gowda noted that while the formation of a third front was still in the “early stage,” Ms. Banerjee is “trying her best” to bring all the non-BJP parties together. Ms. Banerjee is pursuing the task of the formation of a federal front seriously after the publication of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam that left out 40 lakh people in the eastern State, Mr. Gowda said.

His remarks come amid reports that the Congress and other Opposition parties favour leaving the issue of a prime ministerial candidate for the post-election phase to ensure Opposition unity.

The remark also comes days after top Congress sources indicated that the party will not mind a nominee for the top post from any Opposition alliance which does not have the backing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

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