The UPA's hopes to bring Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on board on major issues of economic reforms remained largely unfulfilled even after a series of talks including her exclusive meeting with PM Manmohan Singh on Thursday.
Banerjee categorically ruled out any support for allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, pension and insurance sector. Top Congress sources said although she has apprehensions about allowing FDI in civil aviation, she has kept the doors open for negotiations on the issue. In her meeting with party MPs on Wednesday, she also hinted flexibility on aviation FDI.
But Banerjee made it clear that she is opposed to disinvestment of Air India.
Despite her initial apprehensions about the FDI in civil aviation, sources in both Trinamool and Congress camp told HT that she can hold further negotiations on this particular issue of FDI.
"The UPA may need to involve some senior political emissaries along with aviation minister Ajit Singh to pursue her," said a key Banerjee aide. In her meeting with Chidambaram, Banerjee reportedly asked about the much-awaited debt-relief package for her state.