BJP to hold talks with Mamata again

The BJP General Secretary's meeting with the Trinamool Congerress supremo is seen to be a bid to save the alliance between the two parties.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 20:14 IST

BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley is arriving in Kolkata on Saturday night to hold another round of talks with Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, in a bid to save the alliance between the two parties.

After his arrival in the city from New Delhi at around 20:30 hours, Jaitley is scheduled to drive straight from the airport to Banerjee's South Kolkata residence along with state BJP President Tathagata Roy and state party General Secretary Rahul Sinha, to hold another round of "important discussions" with her regarding the sharing of seats in the coming polls.

The electoral alliance between the two NDA partners came on the verge of end after Banerjee 'unilaterally' announced the list of candidates of the 13 party opposition alliance under the West Bengal Democratic Front on March 13, leaving 23 seats for the BJP in the 294-member House.

This had enraged the state BJP leaders as they claimed that none of these 23 seats was a BJP stronghold and the party had no or very little chance of winning any of them.

None of the 14 assembly seats, demanded by the party in North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Purulia and West Midnapore districts, were allotted to the BJP, despite the Trinamool Congress' earlier assurance to the effect.

BJP claims to have considerable vote banks in each of these 14 constituencies.

As a result, following an emergency meeting on March 14, the state BJP executive body had referred the entire issue to the party's central leadership and urged them to take the final decision about the future of the alliance.

Jaitley's visitto Kolkata on Saturday night to hold talks with Mamata Banerjee is believed to the final outcome to this effect after the BJP Central leadership at its Friday's meeting had announced the names of candidates for 14 constituencies in West Bengal Assembly polls.

First Published: Mar 23, 2006 20:14 IST