Mamata, Pawar plan 'chai pe charcha' for regional parties

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 12, 2015 07:56 IST

It will be a ‘chai pe charcha’ that may make the Congress as well as the NDA feel uncomfortable. With Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in the national capital, some non-Congress, non-NDA leaders will meet at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s residence to chalk out the future political strategy.

Along with Banerjee and Pawar, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav are expected to come, NCP leader Praful Patel told HT.

While Wednesday’s evening meeting is seen as an attempt to build a non-Congress, non-NDA regional bloc, Trinamool chief made further plans to maintain distance from the Congress on key issues. She directed party’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brian to arrange a mock parliament, preferably every month, to evolve alternate views on key policy issues.

“Hold the first meeting on September 5, Teacher’s Day, and make a new land bill from that mock parliament. Invite all leaders from the Opposition side,” Banerjee told O’Brian who promptly tried to book a hall in the Constitution Club.

When asked, who will be the “Prime Minister” of that mock parliament, Banerjee quipped, “We will keep the seat vacant.”

Banerjee spent a few hours in the Parliament building and several leaders including Pawar, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and SP’s Jaya Bachchan came to meet her. BJP’s Kirti Azad too dropped in at the Trinamool office to greet Banerjee.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal came over for dinner at Banerjee’s residence indicating a growing bonhomie between the two leaders. After the meeting, Kejriwal said he wants to hold a seminar on federal structure and invited Mamata for the same.

Banerjee is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to seek funds for flood management. The meeting also comes in the backdrop of Trinamool’s support for Congress’ demand for an adjournment motion on Lalitgate and Vyapam scams.

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