Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi meet Mamata Banerjee in Delhi; say ‘India needs change’

New Delhi: After meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi, lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar on Thursday said there should be a change in the country and it is the history of Bengal that the state had led the revolutionary movements.

Javed Akhtar and actor Shabana Azmi met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi on Thursday.

Briefing mediapersons after the meeting, Akhtar said, "It is a courteous meeting. This is the history of Bengal that it had led the revolutionary movements. The artists and intellectuals of Bengal support Mamata ji. We congratulated her on her victory. We are grateful to Mamata ji for her support in the amendment in the Royalty bill so that music composers, songwriters, lyricists can be benefitted from the royalty."

"I believe there should be a change. There are so many tensions in the country right now…There is the issue of polarisation. Many give aggressive statements… There are incidents of violence. It is a matter of shame that Delhi witnessed communal riots," added the lyricist.

Asked whether Mamata Banerjee should lead the from the front, Akhtar said, "In our little conversation, she never said that leadership is her priority. She believes that she wants a parivartan. Earlier she fought for Bengal and now she wants to fight for a change in India. Who will lead the country is not important but how the Hindustan will be that is most important. Democrarcy is dynamic and constant in process."

Regarding the 'Khela Hobe' slogan and whether it will reverberate in India, Akhtar said, "It does not need proof. It is beyond discussion now."
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is on a visit to the national capital since Monday and has been holding deliberations with opposition parties for forming a united front for the 2024 general elections. Banerjee also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the West Bengal Chief Minister met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

With an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Banerjee on Wednesday in separate meetings discussed "the unity of Opposition" with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and said it is essential for everyone to come together in order to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Chief Minister told the media that she also spoke with RJD leader Lalu Prasad on Tuesday.



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