Decision may indicate party’s support for UPA Vice-Presidential nominee

The Trinamool Congress will be attending the luncheon to be hosted by United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi for its parties in the ruling coalition in New Delhi on Monday, a day ahead of the Vice-Presidential elections, said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday.

Responding to Ms. Gandhi’s invitation, the Trinamool chief directed Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay to attend the luncheon along with other party MPs present in the capital, sources said.

The decision could be indicative of the party’s decision to vote for the UPA nominee — the former Vice-President, Hamid Ansari — even though initially it had reservations on his candidature and suggested alternative names, much like it had ahead of the Presidential polls.

Trinamool MPs will also be meeting in New Delhi later on Monday to chalk out the party’s strategy for the Parliament monsoon session, which is commencing on August 8.

Ms. Banerjee’s directive is also being read as a sign of an improvement in relations between the Trinamool and the Congress.

The Trinamool leadership, however, has made clear that it will continue to oppose the UPA on issues such as foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector and forward trading in commodities.

Ms. Banerjee had reiterated her party’s decision to oppose any “anti-people” policies of the UPA government even as she made a climb-down and announced her party’s support to the UPA nominee for the Presidential polls less than 48 hours before voting began.

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