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Presidential poll: Sonia Gandhi to meet Mamata Banerjee next week to discuss strategy

Sources said Sonia Gandhi called Mamata Banerjee from the capital’s Ganga Ram Hospital, where the senior Congress leader was admitted.

india Updated: May 10, 2017 23:14 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Presidential election,Sonia Gandhi,Mamata Banerjee
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will meet the Bengal CM next week.(PTI File Photo)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will meet in New Delhi next week to chalk out the strategy for the upcoming Presidential election.

Sources said Gandhi called Banerjee from the capital’s Ganga Ram Hospital, where the senior Congress leader was admitted.

Banerjee, who enjoys excellent personal rapport with Gandhi, will arrive in Delhi on Monday and is likely to meet the Congress chief on Tuesday.

Even as the Opposition swiftly moved to secure Banerjee’s support in the Presidential poll—to be held in July—YSR Congress party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy met Prime Minister here and promised support.

“We will support any candidate the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fields as we have very less difference in opinion. Except for differences on the land acquisition bill and special status for Andhra Pradesh, we share similar opinions on various issues which we think are pro-people,” Jagan said.

Jagan, the son of late Congress chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, formed his own party after allegedly getting a raw deal from the Congress leadership.

While the Congress never counted on Jagan Reddy’s support, it is banking on Trinamool Congress, which has more than 64,000 votes, to join the Opposition ranks. Trinamool Congress’ votes are crucial for the Opposition to give a close fight to the BJP. In 2012, Banerjee had proposed former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s name to Gandhi but the proposal didn’t find any support from other parties. Finally, the Congress fielded the then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

This year, the Congress is unlikely to field any party candidate as it is keen to rope in other Opposition parties for a consensus candidate.

First Published: May 10, 2017 23:12 IST

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