Derek: In­sIDe anD ouT­sIDe ParlIaMenT

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Tri­namool Congress leader in the Ra­jya Sabha, Derek O’Brien’s lat­est book, In­side Parliament: Views from the Front Row, is al­ready top­ping the pub­lish­ing charts a week after its re­lease. In the book, Derek talks about his strat­egy for coun­ter­ing Modi in 2019 by sug­gest­ing that the bat­tle should not be a na­tional con­test be­tween a sin­gle can­di­date and Naren­dra Modi as that will play into the BJP’s hands, but the na­tional elec­tion should in­stead be a sum of the state elec­tions. When speak­ing to NewsX in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, he de­nied that Ma­mata Ban­er­jee had any prime min­is­te­rial am­bi­tions, say­ing that un­like other politi­cians, she is not in­ter­ested in the “kursi”. But what if she be­comes a con­sen­sus can­di­date for the Op­po­si­tion—as did an­other Ben­gali be­come the Pres­i­dent of In­dia by con­sen­sus? Derek sim­ply smiled in an­swer. In­ter­est­ingly, he also lashed out at the BJP for de­lay­ing the Win­ter Ses­sion of Parliament and sug­gested that there should be a fixed cal­en­dar for Parliament dates and other en­gage­ments like state polls can be worked around it. For, as he pointed out, this is the Parliament of In­dia and not a school sports’ day that can be post­poned. He has a point there! And be­ing a for­mer ad­ver­tis­ing man, he knows all too well that a pic­ture helps ham­mer in the point so he chose the lawns in front of Parliament to give this in­ter­view, com­ment­ing wryly that by early De­cem­ber, he would usu­ally be sit­ting In­side Parliament, not out­side.

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