Mamata Banerjee to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi tomorrow
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday during her stay in the national Capital.
Banerjee is scheduled to meet Gandhi in the afternoon in what will be the first meeting of the two leaders after Trinamool’s sweeping victory in the West Bengal assembly elections in May this year. Even as the Congress and Trinamool relationship has been tumultuous, Banerjee’s personal equation with Gandhi has stood the test of time.
While there is no fixed agenda of the meeting, the two leaders are expected to focus on long-term goals of the Opposition bloc with an eye on the next national elections, due after three years. The meeting also assumes significance in the backdrop of the ongoing Parliament session where the Opposition has launched massive protests against the government over the Pegasus snooping row and to demand repeal of the three controversial farm laws.
Congress functionaries added that party leader Rahul Gandhi too might drop in at the Mamata-Sonia meeting. While Banerjee’s equation with Rahul has faced a few hurdles in the past, poll strategist Prashant Kishor has reportedly worked as an emissary between the two sides and functionaries claim that the equation has improved over time.
Banerjee arrived at Delhi on Monday evening. On Tuesday, she will meet former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, followed by a meeting with senior Congress leader Anand Sharma. Nath, who lived in Kolkata for a long time, enjoys a good rapport with the Bengal chief minister. Sharma’s equation with Banerjee goes back a long way as the Congress leader was her senior in Indian Youth Congress.
Banerjee’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled at 4pm on Tuesday. According to one of her trusted aides, Banerjee is expected to raise the issue of GST dues and financial package for West Bengal to ease its credit burden. The two leaders are also expected to discuss political issues.
Her last meeting scheduled for Tuesday is with Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi who also fights key cases for the West Bengal government.
The West Bengal chief minister will pay a courtesy visit to President Ram Nath Kovind and might also meet Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
While her party is very active in Parliament, Banerjee is unlikely to visit Parliament during her stay. “There are restrictions in entry of visitors in Parliament due to Covid. She might not like to go there now,” said the aide. Usually, Banerjee always goes to Parliament if she is in Delhi during the session. She has been a seven-time MP.