PC,Sibal to meet state Congress leaders todayhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/west-bengal/pc-sibal-to-meet-state-congress-leaders-today/

PC,Sibal to meet state Congress leaders today

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram will arrive here tomorrow to discuss the Presidential election with state Congress leaders.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram will arrive here tomorrow to discuss the Presidential election with state Congress leaders.

The visit of the two key Congress leaders triggered speculation about a meeting with Chief Minister Banerjee,but no official confirmation on this was received till this evening.

Congress sources said Sibal and Chidambaram will meet Pradesh Congress leaders at Bidhan Bhavan around 7 p.m. tomorrow.

“We cannot rule out the possibility of a meeting between the central Congress leaders and the Trinamool Chief or any of her representatives,” a senior Congress leader said.

Pradesh Congress chief and Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya said,“Sibal and Chidambaram will meet us at Bidhan Bhavan tomorrow evening. Senior state Congress leaders and some MLAs will be present. I have no information whether they will meet the CM.”

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The meeting comes amid senior Congress leaders’ repeated appeals to Trinamool to extend support to UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee. The Trinamool,which had strongly opposed Pranab’s candidature earlier,has soften its stand in the last few days.

Political observers said that Trinamool had to soften its stand as it apprehended that some of its MP and MLAs might vote in favour of Pranab by violating the party whip.

Trinamool MP Kabir Suman has already announced his support to Pranab. Another party MP Dinesh Trivedi has said that Pranab is the best candidate for Raisina Hill. Trinamool MLA Sikha Mitra,who earned the ire of Trinamool leaders for her alleged anti-party remarks,also said that “Pranabda is the best choice” for Presidential candidate.

Political observers say that Trinamool,apprehending a split in the party on the issue,will vote in favour of Pranab. Abstaining from the poll might hurt the sentiments of Bengalis,they say.

During a recent meeting with Trinamool MLAs and MPs,Mamata had said that the final decision will be taken three days ahead of the Presidential election. The party has not yet given any assurance to BJP-supported candidate P A Sangma,who met Mamata last week seeking her support. He was told that the party would first hold a meeting and later decide whom to support. But Trinamool has not yet sent a positive message to Sangma.

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