West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will meet with the leaders of the opposition over the next three days from July 26 during her Delhi visit. But her likely meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi is what is gaining traction.
Despite Trinamool Congress and Congress having frosty ties, Mamata had called up Sonia to inquire about her health, which magnifies the extent of their relationship unlike with Rahul Gandhi, who Mamata has been openly critical of. In private, Mamata was often heard saying that it was former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who had shaped her political career.
When Rajiv Gandhi had noticed an angry Mamata, who had accused many Congress leaders of attacking her, he suggested that she contest against Left leader Somnath Chatterjee. Mamata’s win marked the political significance in Bengal as it ended the 34-year-long Left rule in the state.
Interestingly, Congress took to Twitter on Sunday and said “PM Modi took the adage, ‘keep your enemies closer a little too far’” as it detailed the alleged spying on Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is also the All India General Secretary of the TMC. To which, TMC’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien responded “Khela Hobe”, referring to Mamata’s slogan for the Bengal assembly elections.
The Pegasus issue is common between TMC and Congress as both Abhishek and Rahul figure in it. Many within Congress say it’s time the parties stick together on the issue inside Parliament.
During her three-day visit to the national capital, Mamata will reach out to all opposition parties in an attempt to lay the groundwork for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections thus hinting at a bigger role in the opposition after her massive victory in Bengal assembly polls. Even in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mamata had tried to bring the warring opposition leaders together but failed. The Brigade Ground rally ahead of 2014 General Elections couldn’t take off as Congress leaders didn’t see Mamata as a powerful leader, hence they didn’t turn up. But this time Mamata comes with hope.