West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday evening ran into Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Dubai International Airport and both leaders exchanged greetings and conversed for a few minutes.
“Can I ask you one question? Will you be leading the Opposition alliance,” Mr. Wickremesinghe asked the West Bengal Chief Minister. “It depends on the people,” Ms. Banerjee responded. She also added that the “Opposition may be in position also [to come to power]”.
The Trinamool Congress is a key constituent of the INDIA (Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance) Opposition bloc of 26 parties and Ms. Banerjee has participated in all the meetings of the alliance so far. Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee who was likely to participate in the INDIA bloc coordination committee meeting on Wednesday had to skip it because of summons to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in Kolkata.
The West Bengal Chief Minister invited the Sri Lankan President to join the Bengal Global Business Summit 2023, scheduled in Kolkata in November. Mr. Wickremesinghe also invited Ms. Banerjee to visit the island nation.
“His Excellency, The President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe saw me at the Dubai International Airport Lounge and called me to join for some discussion. I have been humbled by his greetings and invited him to the Bengal Global Business Summit 2023 in Kolkata. The President of Sri Lanka extended a cordial invitation to me to visit Sri Lanka. It was a pleasant interaction with deep implications,” the Chief Minister said on social media platforms.
Ms. Banerjee, along with a contingent of government officials and business leaders, left Kolkata on Tuesday afternoon on a 12-day visit to the United Arab Emirates and Spain. The visit is aimed at attracting investments to West Bengal.