Anti-BJP front before 2019: Mamata Banerjee to attend Sharad Pawar’s dinner, suspense over meeting with Sonia Gandhi

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Updated: March 27, 2018 12:54:01 PM

Banjerjee, a critic of the BJP-led central government and its policies, had recently called for unity among all the anti-BJP parties to defeat the saffron party in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on Tuesday attend a dinner hosted by NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi.

In an effort to shape up an anti-BJP front before 2019 Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on Tuesday attend a dinner hosted by NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi. Speaking to reporters at the airport, Banerjee said that it was a routine visit and she is scheduled to attend a meeting of the opposition parties. “The Central Hall is a famous hall, where I will meet the leaders of my party and if the leaders of other parties want to meet me, I welcome them. We are all friends,” she was quoted as saying. Banjerjee, a critic of the BJP-led central government and its policies, had recently called for unity among all the anti-BJP parties to defeat the saffron party in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

As per reports, Banerjee may also meet United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi. However, she didn’t confirm her meet with Gandhi at the airport. “She is hospitalised. Let her recover. I do not want to disturb her,” Banerjee said.

It remains to be seen if the visit serves as an ice-breaker between the TMC and Congress. Earlier this month, Banerjee had skipped a dinner hosted by the UPA chief earlier this month.

Asked whether she would be meeting Pawar, Banerjee said, “We (TMC) have 46 MPs (including 12 Rajya Sabha members) there. Sometimes I get the opportunity to go there and meet them. I have worked as an MP for seven terms and I know many leaders and MPs of several political parties.”

On the other hand, NCP chief Pawar has called the dinner to discuss the strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel had met Banerjee earlier this month and invited her to attend the meet. Earlier this month, Banerjee had also met TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. Rao invited Banerjee to discuss the process of setting up a federal front against the BJP-led government at the Centre.

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