Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is leaving for Delhi today for her first visit after winning the April-May assembly elections, and one of her stated aims is to launch an effort to unite opposition parties ahead of the 2024 general election.The chief minister had issued an appeal for unity in a speech in Delhi on July 21, which was attended by top leaders including Congress's P Chidambaram and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.Ms Banerjee had said that day that people would not forgive her - the opposition - if they did not forget their differences and united against the BJP.
The guest list for the Christ week tea party is now fodder for speculation, but it may include leaders of eight parties organized by the Trinamool at Delhi's Constitution Club on the occasion of Martyr's Day or a party in honor of Martyrs' Day on July 21. participated in the programme.Ms Banerjee's virtual speech that day was screened at the Constitution Club.Besides Mr Chidambaram and Mr Pawar, Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, NCP's Supriya Sule, DMK's Tiruchi Siva, TRS's Keshav Rao and RJD's Manoj Jha were present.There were also Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena, Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan of Samajwadi Party, Sanjay Singh of AAP and Balwinder Singh Bandar of Akali Dal. In addition to meeting opposition leaders,
Ms Banerjee will also visit Parliament on one of the three days - possibly July 27 - she plans to spend in Delhi. She is likely to meet Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal. She is also likely to meet interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in a separate conversation, though no one has confirmed the date or time yet.Abhishek Banerjee is close to election strategist Prashant Kishor - who helped Trinamool win the election, and whose name was also on the alleged list of surveillance targets.
Mr Kishor has recently met several senior opposition leaders, including Sharad Pawar and the Gandhi family. He was at Ms Banerjee's house on July 21 when she called for opposition unity. That evening, Abhishek Banerjee and he went to Delhi to lay the ground for Mamata Banerjee's visit. Ms. Banerjee is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 28. This will be his first interaction with the Prime Minister after the election. Sources say she will raise the issue of central dues to the state, which is stalling development programmes.
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