Monday, 5 December, 2022
HomePoliticsMamata Banerjee to woo opposition leaders during her Delhi trip

Mamata Banerjee to woo opposition leaders during her Delhi trip

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TMC sources said Mamata also plans to reach out to regional parties such as the TDP, a former BJP ally, and the BJD for a united oppn in 2019

New Delhi: Efforts to build an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2019 general elections are expected to gather pace with West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) president Mamata Banerjee beginning meetings with opposition leaders in the capital Tuesday.

Mamata arrived in New Delhi late Monday for a two-day trip. One of her first engagements will involve a visit to Parliament Tuesday afternoon for interactions with fellow opposition politicians. She is also scheduled to meet Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, two other leaders at the forefront of the bid to unite the opposition to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The programme of the meetings is to be drawn up Tuesday afternoon, but sources told ThePrint that since Sonia was unwell, she might meet the TMC chief Wednesday. Mamata and Pawar were likely to meet Tuesday evening.

Continued efforts:

Mamata has of late been holding meetings with leaders across the political spectrum, including fellow satraps.

On 9 March, NCP leader Praful Patel had met her in Kolkata and invited her for a meeting with Pawar.

On 19 March, Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had met her in the West Bengal capital to discuss the possibility of a federal front against the BJP. While KCR called for a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance, sources told ThePrint that Mamata said she wanted the Congress in the opposition alliance.

“The Congress is undoubtedly the largest opposition party with a direct fight with the BJP in many states and big footprint across the country,” said a TMC leader privy to the meeting.

“We have started the dialogue. Let us approach other political parties,” Mamata had said at that time.

The West Bengal CM was the first leader to speak on Bahujan Samaj party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s decision to continue the alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP), aimed at containing the BJP, despite the setback in the recent Rajya Sabha election.

“I welcome the views expressed by Mayawati ji. We are strongly with her and (SP leader) Akhilesh Yadav in this mission for the nation,” she had tweeted.

On 24 March, when Andhra Pradesh CM and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu slammed as “a bid to spread lies” BJP president Amit Shah’s letter questioning the use of funds released by the Centre, Mamata was again quick to respond.

“I appreciate that Chandrababu Naidu ji has stated the facts. Very good. There are many so-called leaders who spread lies. They make this a habit,” she wrote, adding, “They try and bulldoze states, and show that they are doing the states a favour by giving funds. This is fake federalism.”

TMC sources told ThePrint that, after the meetings in Delhi, Mamata will try to reach out to regional parties such as the TDP, a former BJP ally, and the BJD in order to explore the possibility of getting them on board the idea.

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  1. Ms Mamata Banerjee has grown in stature since becoming CM of Bengal. She has laid to rest fears about being excessively populist, has managed state finances with prudence, assisted by Dr. Amit Mitra. She has a legitimate claim, if the numbers do not throw up a decisive result. The Congress is much the poorer for her departure.

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