'Mamata Didi is the only politician who can take on the might of Modi.'
Since its spectacular win in the West Bengal assembly elections, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has been planning to go national.
In this attempt, the TMC has wooed many leaders from different parties, but mainly from the Congress.
"It is not that the BJP is invincible. They can be defeated and they will be defeated in future across different states," Ashok Tanwar, a former Congress leader who joined the TMC last week, tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com.
- Part 1: 'Today, the Congress is hollow'
Your first test will be in Goa where your party will contest the assembly elections. Will you win that state?
A fighter always knows to win.
Alexander The Great came from Greece and conquered the world.
In the same way, in elections only the fighting spirit matters.
You will see in the coming days the fighting spirit of the TMC as a party and winning elections across the country.
Do you feel the people of India feel the same way about the TMC?
Mamata Didi is the only politician who can take on the might of Modi.
I have no doubt about that.
Why is she poaching only Congress leaders?
It is like where you have a plant nursery, you will get plants at that place only.
The Congress is an old political party and there are old people in the party who have experience to fight elections.
In a war you need a general who knows how to fight with one lakh soldiers and defeat the one million-strong opponent's army.
You cannot get a new general for the army and fight wars.
Does it mean more Congress leaders will quit the party to join the TMC?
Yes, I am sure about it.
The problem with the Congress is that they know who are the gems in the party, but cannot do anything to promote them because they are weak and helpless.
Because, goondas are running the Congress.
The G-23 is the goonda group in the Congress.
These goondas are running the party and therefore there is no revival of the party.
Do you think a broad-based alliance of regional parties will take on the BJP in the 2024 election with Mamata Didi leading that coalition?
This will surely happen by 2024.
We will take the youth of our country together and make this happen.
There are many small organisations in the country who have social capital but not political capital.
We will take them and win elections.
We will convert their social capital into political capital in future.
The BJP has cadres across the country, where is your cadre? How will you create such a huge cadre base across the country?
From 2004-2014 you check out the attendance at RSS shakhas and you will find it was less than 50 per cent of what it is today.
You know why?
Because the BJP was out of power.
Power is a big tonic.
In Kerala, all the RSS guys had run away. but now they are coming back because Modi is ruling the country.
Just look at the Shiv Sena and the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) in Maharashtra.
They are growing because they are in power.
It is only a matter of narrative and vision which we have to tell people of the country.
Once that happens, people will understand about our vision and then we will start winning.
Didn't you feel bad leaving the Congress?
I didn't feel bad because maine inko bahut jhela aur yeh aur bigadtey gaye (I tolerated it for long, but things only got worse).
Therefore, I thought that I must quit the party.
Today, farmers showed the way by defeating the BJP on the three farm laws.
So, it is not that the BJP is invincible.
They can be defeated and they will be defeated in future across different states.
This aura that the BJP cannot be defeated is created by the media and self-interested people.
Modi is no god, but a human being who can be defeated.