Describing her as a "lady of the people" and "genuine grassroots person", Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Saturday lavished praise on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and said he would like to meet her.
Recalling his fond memories of Banerjee when he was small, Rahul Gandhi said: "I met her when I was small. I used to see her in my father's (Rajiv Gandhi's) house. And also when my grandmother (Indira Gandhi) was alive.
"I have fond memories of Mamataji. I haven't met her for a long time. I would like to meet her," Rahul Gandhi said at a press conference here, saying he had a positive opinion of Banerjee, with whose party the Congress has entered into a seat adjustment in West Bengal for the Lok Sabha polls.
Rahul Gandhi said that besides appreciating the Trinamool Congress chief for her fight against the Left, he also admired her as a human being.
"One of the things about Mamataji that I admire is her simplicity and I get the sense that a lot of things which are very important to many people are not important to her. She is a genuine grassroots person," he said.
Describing her as a "lady of the people", the Congress leader said: "My sense is that
she likes to be in contact with the people. These are values I appreciate."
As per the seat adjustment formula, Trinamool Congress is contesting in 27 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, leaving 14 to the Congress. Trinamool's alliance partner Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) is in the fray in one seat. Elections in West Bengal are scheduled April 30, May 7 and May 13.
Rahul Gandhi's mother Congress president Sonia Gandhi is slated to campaign jointly with Banerjee at Jangipur in Murshidabad district Monday. Senior Congress leader and West Bengal state unit president Pranab Mukherjee is seeking re-election from Jangipur.