West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to a host of Opposition leaders, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and chief ministers of multiple states not ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party suggesting that it was time for “a united and effective struggle” against the saffron party, ANI reported. The letter, dated March 28, urged the leaders of various political parties to present a “credible alternative” to the people and chart a plan of action in that direction after the ongoing Assembly elections.

“I strongly believe that the time has come for a united and effective struggle against BJP’s attacks on democracy and the constitution. As the chairperson of All India Trinamool Congress, I shall work wholeheartedly with you and all other like-minded parties in this battle,” she wrote.

Notably, the letter’s date coincided with the first phase of elections in West Bengal and Assam and it came to light a day before the second phase, when Banerjee herself will be pitted against aide-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram Assembly constituency.

Apart from Gandhi, the letter was sent to Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, according to NDTV.

In the letter, Banerjee addressed the matter of the controversial Bill that gives overreaching powers to Delhi’s lieutenant governor by effectively wresting control away from the city’s elected government.

The West Bengal chief minister said that the Bill, which has now received presidential assent after being cleared by both Houses makes lieutenant governor the “undeclared viceroy of Delhi acting as the proxy for the home minister and the prime minister”.

“The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act is a direct attack on the federal structure of the Indian republic, as enshrined in the Constitution,” the letter stated. Banerjee then went on to elaborate on her claim that the Centre’s decision to pass the Bill for Delhi was not an exception.

She accused the BJP-ruled Union government of misusing the office of the governor in states not under the party’s regime. She also reiterated the claim that the Centre was using investigating agencies and other institutions against Opposition parties.

“Both in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, where Assembly elections are now underway, the [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi government has unleashed the ED [Enforcement Directorate] to conduct raids on functionaries of the Trinamool Congress and DMK,” Banerjee asserted.

She further alleged that the Centre withheld transfer of funds to states, adding that the Union government has “deactivated every single platform where state governments used to traditionally place their legitimate demands, needs and concerns”.

Banerjee opined that the BJP wanted to make it impossible for other parties to exercise their constitutional rights and freedoms. “It [BJP] wants to dilute the powers of state governments and downgrade them to mere municipalities,” she wrote. “In short, it wants to establish a one-party authoritarian rule in India.”

At an election rally earlier this month, the West Bengal chief minister said that the BJP was scared that she would form an “alternative force” at the Centre after winning Assembly elections in the state. Opposition parties such as the Shiv Sena and Rashtriya Janata Dal have also extended their support to the TMC in West Bengal elections. However, the Congress is fighting the polls in an alliance with the Left parties, who were notably excluded in Banerjee’s letter.