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Mamata Banerjee leaves for Delhi visit

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, December 9, 2013 - 16:34

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday left on a three-day visit to Delhi, a day after the Congress suffered a rout in the Assembly elections in four states, giving rise to intense speculation.

Though Mamata insisted that her visit to the capital was "in the interest of Bengal, not any personal work", the visit nonetheless assumed significance because she had earlier floated the idea of a non-BJP and Non-Congress front of regional parties with an eye on Lok Sabha polls.

When pointed out by reporters at the NSCB International Airport that her visit had generated a lot of curiosity, she said, "I am going to Delhi in the interest of Bengal and not any personal work". She did not elaborate.

A Trinamool Congress MP, however, said, "She would go to the Central Hall of Parliament tomorrow and interact with leaders of other political parties.

"She has floated the idea of a United India Front minus Congress and BJP," he further said.

TMC general secretary Mukul Roy told PTI, "She is having a nostalgia. The term of the 15th Lok Sabha is nearing an end. As such Banerjee, who was a member of the House before she became chief minister in 2011, would go to the Central Hall of Parliament and meet the members."

Roy was asked if her visit had anything to do with getting a feel of the political atmosphere following the poll results.

After snapping her alliance with the Congress at the Centre in September, last year, Banerjee had attacked the government on a range of issues, from price rise to the communal violence bill.

She had earlier appealed to all non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties to come together and float a federal front before the Lok Sabha polls.

"I appeal to all non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties to launch a united fight to free the country from misrule and anti-people decisions, and work together to build a better and brighter India," she had said.

"Time has come for all the regional parties to come together and form a federal front in the coming Lok Sabha election. Let us stand together. Let us talk together. Let us decide a plan of action for the next Lok Sabha election," she had said.

Banerjee had last visited Delhi in April when she faced protests from Left activists who also heckled her finance minister Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission office.

First Published: Monday, December 9, 2013 - 16:34

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