Mamata in Delhi on five-day visit, to meet PM Modi on July 27

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee landed in Delhi on Monday for a five-day visit. This is her first trip to the Capital after the TMC’s victory in the Assembly polls .

Ms. Banerjee will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. She has also sought time to meet President Ramnath Kovind.

Party Parliamentary leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien told The Hindu , “This is an important visit of Mamata Banerjee and this is an important week for the Indian politics.” Asked if the visit indicates a more active role for Ms. Banerjee in the national politics, Mr. O’Brien said she is not seeking any chair or post.

Significantly, key changes took place in the Congress and the TMC dynamics ahead of her visit, with the former showing willingness to make many concessions.

The first step was to remove West Bengal Pradesh Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury from the equation, with whom the TMC was not willing to speak. Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the responsibility to coordinate with the allies in both Houses of Parliament. Sources said senior leader Shashi Tharoor has now been enlisted to liaise with the TMC in the Lok Sabha. Mr. Tharoor met TMC Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay to convey this on Monday.

The second step was the Congress had acknowledged that not only Rahul Gandhi but TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee too has been the victim of Pegasus cyber attack with a tweet from its official handle. It posted a picture saying Mr. Banerjee was targeted because of the West Bengal Assembly elections. “Modi govt.’s insecurities are endless,” the tweet said.

Strategy for monsoon session

Ahead of Ms. Banerjee’s visit, the TMC Parliamentary Party discussed the strategy for the remaining part of the monsoon session. For five days, the TMC along with the other Opposition parties has been disrupting both Houses asking the government to come clean on the Pegasus episode

Ms. Banerjee is expected to meet a host of leaders during her visit. She will also be paying a visit to Ms. Gandhi. She will also spend a day in Parliament, where meetings with other Opposition leaders including Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, DMK, RJD and others are planned. The party remained tightlipped on whether she will host a joint Opposition meet or not.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 11:32:31 pm |