Mamata Banerjee's ‘chai pe charcha’ to discuss a federal front

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 13, 2015 00:07 IST
(L-R) Sharad Pawar, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Yadav during a meeting at Pawar’s residence in New Delhi. (Virendra Singh Gosain/ HT Photo)

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday managed to bring together some non-NDA and non-BJP parties at a ‘chai pe charcha’.

Six regional parties including Trinamool, NC, NCP, Samajwadi Party and JD (U) decided to give another try for a federal front, but this time AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal may also be the part of their efforts.

Although the Delhi chief minister skipped the meeting as it was held at NCP chief sharad Pawar’s house, he has invited all leaders for a seminar on federal structure in Delhi on September 22. The parties also decided to extend support to the JD(U)-RJD-Congress combination for the upcoming Bihar polls.

The meeting was not only seen as an attempt by Banerjee to consolidate her position in the non-Congress, non-BJP quarters but also to shunt the Sitaram Yechury-led Left in that space. Yechury, the most popular left leader has been a pivotal force in the Opposition camp but Banerjee now plans to grab this space.

When asked about the Left parties being left out of the meeting, Yechury said, “We have seen these efforts earlier too. But they never yielded any result. Without the Left parties, no non-Congress, non-NDA formation can work.”

The West Bengal CM also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded a relief package of Rs 31,000 crore. “I have also requested the PM to hold a special meeting of Niti Ayong with all chief ministers to discuss annual plans of the states,” she said.

Banerjee alleged that the Centre owes her government a large amount of funds under different heads. She also proposed an industrial corridor under the ‘Look East’ policy involving Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

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