Derek: InsIDe anD ouTsIDe ParlIaMenT
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.