Lalu Prasad invites Mamata Banerjee’s TMC for Opposition meet in Patna
The Patna meet on April 21 is reportedly aimed at sending a message of unity among Opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party.Updated: Apr 10, 2018 00:06 IST
Bihar’s largest party, Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), wants Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) to join a meeting of the Opposition outfits in Patna later this month.
TMC’s floor leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said he received an invitation for the meet from RJD chief Lalu Prasad, when he went to meet Prasad at AIIMS, in New Delhi on Monday.
The Patna meet is reportedly aimed at sending a message of unity among Opposition parties against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and will also be an opportunity for senior Opposition leaders to see which parties are serious about exploring the possibility of an alliance.
“We met for half an hour. I conveyed Mamata Banerjee’s wishes for him. We spoke on many things including politics,” O’Brien said.
The meeting, to be held on April 21, will come close on the heels of Banerjee’s interaction with Opposition leaders during the Parliament session and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s meeting with several parties in the capital last week. While Banerjee is keen to see a federal front taking on the BJP in 2019, Naidu snapped ties with the BJP last month over demands for a special status to his state.
O’Brien’s meeting with Prasad, who has been convicted in multiple fodder scam cases, assumes significance in the context of the Opposition’s bid to form an alliance against the BJP in 2019.
While the TMC wants the Congress to play a supportive role in the alliance, the largest Opposition party has already taken up the junior partner’s role in Bihar. RJD leaders indicated that the Congress-RJD alliance will remain for the 2019 polls.
While Banerjee has so far not warmed up to join hands with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Lalu has made it clear that no alternative front can be formed without the Congress.