Amid the growing unity among Opposition parties against the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will attend a dinner hosted by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday.
Banerjee, who reached Delhi on Monday for a four-day visit has taken an initiative to forge an alliance of Opposition parties to defeat the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Aimed at consolidating Opposition unity for the upcoming general elections, NCP chief’s dinner is seen as another attempt towards an anti-BJP alliance after last week’s gathering at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence.
Mamata, who shares a healthy relationship with Sonia could not attend the dinner she hosted last week on March 14. But during the visit, she is also expected to meet the UPA chairperson on Wednesday.
Mamata has termed her meeting with Sonia as "strictly personal visit". However, it was not clear whether she will also meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Mamata’s expected meeting with Sonia comes days after she met with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who is keen to form a federal front minus the BJP and the Congress.
However, Pawar is more likely to support an alliance formed around Congress and Mamata too will not support any scheme that keeps the Grand Old Party out of it.
“In politics, situations sometimes allow everyone to come and work together. I have faith in democracy. It is best to work along with everyone,” Mamata had said after meeting Rao.
She has also thrown her weight behind the SP-BSP alliance and welcomed Mayawati’s statement that her party’s alliance with Akhilesh Yadv-led Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh will remain at least till 2019.