From the sidelines of the Congress-BJP rift, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is busy stitching up a regional coalition. The purpose is to establish a working relationship with the ruling BJP at the Centre while taking care not to upset the Opposition ranks.
Accordingly, the TMC has been part of the Congress-led protests in Parliament. It boycotted Parliament for five days during which 25 Congress MPs had been suspended from the Lok Sabha. At the same time, Mamata Banerjee arrived in Delhi on Monday evening for a scheduled meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
While Banerjee will meet the Prime Minister to place before him demands for flood relief in the State and discuss the newly-created Bangladeshi enclaves, 51 of which fall in West Bengal, and other similar issues, she spent the whole of Tuesday meeting leaders of different political parties.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar paid Banerjee a visit at her party office in the Parliament House along with his party MPs Tariq Anwar, Praful Patel and others. She also met JD (U) leaders, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and had a chance encounter with the Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the Central Hall of Parliament.
When Gandhi, spotted Banerjee and came to greet her, the latter said: “You have been very aggressive of late” to which Gandhi responded saying, “I have learnt it from you.”
Significantly, Banerjee has a dinner meeting with Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday evening. Kejriwal will drop by Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek’s home, where she is staying during her Delhi sojourn, for a “vegetarian meal” and political discussions.
Sources in the TMC said the idea is to protect regional parties’ interests and find a balanced approach in the Opposition strategy.