In a bid to unite the Opposition against the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on a four-day tour to the national capital, will meet several leaders on Wednesday, including interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar.
Speaking to the media after her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, Banerjee said, "Opposition unity will take shape on its own," making it obvious that she will leave no stone unturned to build a political front against the BJP.
When asked if she will lead such a consortium of Opposition parties, Banerjee said, "India will lead and we shall follow."
Sonia-Mamata's "chai pe charcha"
Interestingly, Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee met at the former's residence at 10 Janpath for tea. The interim Congress president appears to have made an exception for West Bengal CM as discussions of uniting the Opposition parties were on the agenda. Sonia Gandhi met her own senior party members online.
According to India Today sources, Rahul Gandhi was also present during the meeting on Wednesday.
Mamata's trip to Delhi
Prior to meeting Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, the Bengal CM met several senior Congress leaders on Tuesday, including Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in an apparent attempt to prepare the ground for meet the Congress top boss.
"If Opposition unity is to be a reality, the Congress will be a very important factor and Mamata Banerjee will definitely try to take the Congress on board. Her meeting with Sonia Gandhi is very significant because it can shape the future political scenario in the country," a senior Trinamool Congress leader said.
Another senior Trinamool leader said that while the meetings with the President and the Prime Minister were formalities, Banerjee's visit this time was planned with a larger Opposition plan in mind ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
"I think it is clear to everyone in the Opposition that 2024 will see a very crucial election, which will be a big challenge. It is also a good sign that seriousness has set in now, when there is time to fight, and iron out the chinks, as they say," the Trinamool leader said.
(With agency inputs)