West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi today in Delhi. The meeting assumes significance as political parties are busy in devising strategies regarding the upcoming Presidential Elections. It has been learned that YSR Congress will support the NDA and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) may do the same, according Indian Express report. On other hand, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has opined that the BJP should initiate talks with political parties even as he had hinted that he won’t oppose a second term for Pranab Mukherjee, according to a PTI report. With the main Congress remaining non-committal on backing Mukherjee, the meeting between the two of most power political figures is crucial and any fruitful outcome will have a bearing on the pan-India politics. CM Banerjee reached Delhi last evening.
The recent verbal duel between CM Banerjee and BJP chief Amit Shah over the latter’s visit to West Bengal grabbed the eyeballs. With BJP clearly eyeing the eastern Indian state, it will be interesting to see what pans out during the meeting. Notably, Congress has time to time tied hands with the Left to take on ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Bengal.
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It was evident that the meeting would raise eyebrows in the political circle in Bengal. State Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had written to Sonia Gandhi. In the two page letter he voiced his displeasure over Congress President’s proposed meeting with Mamata Banerjee. “I understand that the CM (Mamata) will be meeting you to discuss strategy for the presidential election. It is important to rope in support of all political parties to oppose an RSS-BJP nominee. At the same time, it is necessary to emphasise our abiding commitment to democracy and transparency,” Chowdhury had said.
According to Indian Express report, a few months ago, Banerjee had told a Bengali channel that she is not averse to the candidature of either BJP leader L K Advani or that of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, or even Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.