On her first visit to Delhi after the TMC’s resounding victory in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in Lok Kalyan Marg.
Following the meeting, CM Banerjee told reporters that the Prime Minister should convene an all-party meet to discuss the Pegasus issue and decide on a Supreme Court-led probe.
In Parliament, Opposition parties have been protesting the allegations of snooping by the Union Government through the Israeli spyware Pegasus, resulting in adjournment of both the Houses multiple times. While TMC MP Shantanu Sen was suspended for tearing up IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s denial statement, Opposition leaders have demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the allegations.
During her meeting with PM Modi, CM Banerjee also requested him to give her state more Covid vaccines based on its population.
Responding to a question on opposition unity against the ruling NDA, she said it would take shape on its own. Her response came as she met Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma, earlier in the day, amid several signals of increasing Opposition unity ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said he is likely to meet Banerjee on Wednesday. She is also expected to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in Janpath tomorrow, news agency ANI reported.
The visit comes also at a time when Parliament is in session. Banerjee has said that she intends to spend some time in Parliament and meet Opposition leaders.
Last week, on the Trinamool’s annual Martyrs Day celebration, a bevy of Opposition leaders came to pay their respects including P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh of the Congress, Sharad Pawar, who Banerjee mentioned repeatedly, and Supriya Sule of the NCP, Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Manoj Jha of the RJD, Tiruchi Siva of the DMK and Priyanka Chaturvedi from the Shiv Sena.
A senior Trinamool leader said that while the meetings with the President and PM were formalities, Banerjee’s visit this time was planned with a larger Opposition plan in mind ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha challenge. “I think it is clear to everyone in the opposition that 2024 is a very crucial election, and there is a big challenge. It is also a good sign that seriousness has set in now, when there is time to fight, and fall out, and come together; iron out the chinks as they say. With her decisive win of Narendra Modi, Banerjee will have a big role to play,” a leader had said.