Mamata Banerjee Plans Trip To Meet Sonia Gandhi, "May Meet PM If..."
Mamata Banerjee will visit Delhi on July 25 and is likely to spend three-four days.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be in Delhi later this month as political activity, targeted at the 2024 national elections, spikes in the national capital, sources said. This is the first visit of Ms Banerjee after her landslide victory in the Bengal assembly elections in May. The victory, achieved in face of the might of the BJP election machinery, has triggered speculation over her playing a bigger role in the opposition front in the next general elections.
Sources said during the visit, which may extend to four days, Ms Banerjee will meet several opposition leaders including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and a few others.
"I have not been to Delhi after polls. Now Covid situation is better. I will go to Delhi during parliament, meet friends," Ms Banerjee told the media this afternoon. "If I am given time, I may meet the Prime Minister and President," she added. The dates for the visit, however, are not fixed, she added.
Political activity has spiked over the last month, starting with poll strategist Prashant Kishor's two meetings with Sharad Pawar. The NCP chief, though, said the meeting did not involve politics after Mr Kishor had a four-hour meeting with the Gandhis earlier this week, intensifying speculation about his joining the party.
Sources said during the talks with Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a formal role for the strategist in the Congress might have been explored as the party gets ready for a string of state elections next year and the national polls three years on.
Ms Banerjee's visit will also coincide with the monsoon session of parliament, where the opposition Congress is expected to target the government over multiple issues including the handling of Covid and price rise.
The customary strategy session of the opposition before a parliament session has not happened this time owing to the Covid pandemic.