West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in the national capital on Monday evening — her first visit to Delhi after the TMC’s victory in West Bengal elections — and could meet Prime Minister Modi Narendra Modi as early as Tuesday, it is learnt.
She is also likely to meet President Ram Nath Kovind during her stay in Delhi.
The visit comes at a time when Parliament is in session, and there have been talks about Opposition unity ahead of the 2024 general election. Banerjee has said that she intends to spend some time in Parliament and meet Opposition leaders.
While the TMC is tightlipped about her exact schedule, Banerjee on Tuesday is likely to meet Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Abhishek Singhvi of the Congress, besides the Prime Minister.
Her visit comes amid several signals of increasing Opposition unity. Congress social media handles had posted criticism over Banerjee’s nephew and TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee being a possible target of Pegasus spyware. 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 said.