Kolkata: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee Monday embarked on a four-day trip to Delhi to hold talks with other political parties about the possibility of a federal front ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. At the Kolkata airport, she told reporters that it is a “routine visit”. “The Central Hall is a famous hall, where I will meet the leaders of my party and if the leaders of other parties want to meet me, I will welcome them,” she said. Mamata is scheduled to attend the Opposition meet convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday.
Trinamool sources said Mamata is expected to meet former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. The meeting with Gandhi will be a personal visit, they added.
However, when asked, Mamata said: “She (Sonia) is hospitalised. Let her recover. I do not want to disturb her.”
A meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi is not finalised yet. “Mamata will definitely meet leaders of other political parties to discuss the anti-BJP front. It is, however, not clear whether she would meet Rahul Gandhi,” said a TMC source. Mamata is also scheduled to visit the Parliament on Tuesday and hold meetings with her party MPs.
Asked whether she would be meeting Pawar, Mamata said, “We (TMC) have 46 MPs (including 12 Rajya Sabha members) there. Sometimes I get the opportunity to go there and meet them. I have worked as an MP for seven terms and I know many leaders and MPs of several political parties.”
Pawar has called a meeting of all the opposition leaders, including those from the Congress, to discuss the strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Ridiculing Mamata’s trip to the national capital, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said: “She has gone there to fulfil the wishes of those who have been saying that she will be the next Prime Minister of the country. But in reality nothing of that sort will happen. She is basically on a wild goose chase,” Ghosh said.