Mamata meets Sonia, advocates joint Oppn candidate for Prez poll

16 May 2017

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee batted for a joint candidate for the upcoming Presidential election at a meeting today with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The Trinamool Congress supremo said names were not discussed, but the need for consensus was reiterated. "We want the entire Opposition to get together and come out with a consensus candidate who will be good for the country," Mamata told newspersons after the 40-minute meeting at 10 Janpath, the residence of the Congress chief. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting here. "There are so many political equations. We will talk together, we will discuss together. We will prefer a consensus candidate who will work for the country and will be a better candidate for the country," the West Bengal chief minister said.

The meeting between Mamata and Gandhi was part of a series of meetings that the Congress president has been holding with other political leaders for a possible joint candidate for the presidential poll. Banerjee said if the Opposition wanted it could set aside differences for this purpose. "There is still time and we will meet again. But the government should also take the initiative for a consensus candidate," she said. Mamata today also accepted RJD supremo Lalu Prasad's invitation to attend a rally of political parties opposed to the BJP-led central government in August next. "Lalu Ji, We accepted your invitation to be there on August 27. We will be there," the TMC supremo said in a tweet.

It deserves mention here that Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Abdul Mannan will be meeting the Congress vice-president at New Delhi on Wednesday. Mannan will be highlighting the plight of state Congress workers in the hands of TMC cadres and would urge that whatever transpires between the two parties in New Delhi over the upcoming Presidential election, should not have any impact in the politics of West Bengal.