Mamata sets out for Delhi with an agenda

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee left for Delhi on Monday amid speculation about her attempt to unite the opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Though the chief minister didn’t say a word about her busy schedule in the national capital for the next four days, sources in the CMO (Chief Minister’s Office) indicated that besides meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Banerjee is likely to hold several meetings with opposition leaders.

Banerjee left for Delhi at 3.35 p.m. She will meet Modi on July 28 besides also likely meet President Ram Nath Kovind during her stay.

“There are several issues like the appointment of the DGP, the financial aid post-Yaas and the regularisation of the supply of vaccines for the state which are going to take the centre-stage. This will be the chief minister and prime minister’s first meeting after the controversial Kalaikunda incident. The meeting invited a lot of debates,” a senior official of the state secretariat said.

Banerjee is expected to host tea for opposition leaders at 3 p.m. on July 28, possibly at the home of her nephew, and Trinamool Congress MP and General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee in Delhi.

The chief minister had issued an appeal for unity on July 21 Martyrs’ Day speech that was screened in Delhi and attended by top leaders, including the Congress’ P. Chidambaram and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. The guest list is now a subject to speculation but it is expected that it would range from Congress to DMK, from TRS to RJD and from Akali Dal to AAP.

On July 21 the country has already witnessed the presence of a large number of opposition leaders leaving ample scope to believe that most of them will be present in the tea-party thrown by the chief minister. Apart from Chidambaram and Pawar, others present were Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, the NCP’s Supriya Sule, the DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, Keshav Rao of the TRS and Manoj Jha from the RJD.

The Shiv Shena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi, the Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan, the AAP’s Sanjay Singh and the Akali Dal’s Balwinder Singh Bunder were also present.

Though there is no official confirmation about the chief minister meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi but sources in the party indicated that there is a possibility of Banerjee’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The chief minister is also likely to go to the Parliament during her stay in Delhi.