West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee left for New Delhi on Tuesday following a call from Congress president Sonia Gandhi asking her if she could come over for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the presidential election.
“Sonia Gandhi had called me and we will discuss the presidential election tomorrow [Wednesday],” Ms. Banerjee told journalists. She, however, asserted that the question of her stand on the presidential election should not be linked with her government’s insistence on a special financial package from the Centre to bail out the debt-stressed State.
“It is a continuous process. Do not mix the two. They are not related and are separate [issues],” she said.
Ms. Banerjee is not happy with the progress on the State’s demand for a special financial assistance and a three-year moratorium on debt servicing.
“Every time we are coming [back] with empty hands,” she said on Monday after State Finance Minister Amit Mitra held talks with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.
Asked whether Mr. Mukherjee is set to be the Congress nominee for President, Ms. Banerjee who, on earlier occasions made it clear that he was not her favoured choice, said it was the Congress’ internal matter.
On whether she would propose any name for the post of President, she said: “Let me see what they [the Congress] say.”