'Silent' meeting between Mamata, Kumaraswamy in Kolkata sparks political speculations

Kolkata, Mar 24 (IANS): On the day Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha, a "silent" meeting between the Janata Dal-Secular leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the latter's residence here on Friday sparked off speculations about fresh equations in the sphere of opposition politics at the national level.

The meeting was as brief, lasting just 30 minutes, and neither Banerjee or Kumaraswamy made any comment on the proceedings.

However, Trinamool Congress insiders aware of the proceedings of the meeting claimed that Kumaraswamy invited the West Bengal Chief Minister to come to Karnataka and campaign against the BJP for the forthcoming Assembly elections in the southern Indian state.

"The two leaders have discussed how the regional parties can unite before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and build a formidable united opposition nationally throughout the country," said a senior member of the West Bengal cabinet on strict condition of anonymity.

Earlier in the day after arriving at Kolkata, Kumaraswamy decried the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha and said that this development was reflection of the vindictive politics pursued by BJP.

This the third regional party leader of national relevance that Banerjee had separate meetings with since last week. Last week, when the Samajwadi Party chief and Leader of Opposition in Uttar Pradesh assembly, Akhilesh Yadav came to Kolkata to attend the national council meeting of his party and called on Banerjee at her residence.

On Thursday, Banerjee had a similar one-on-one meeting with the Biju Janata Dal chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the latter's residence in Bhubaneswar.

Political observers feel that these meetings are crucial in the sense that Banerjee is trying hard to have an united alliance against BJP before the Lok Sabha polls but keeping Congress out of that alliance plan. The Trinamool has officially made its stand clear of maintaining a distance with Congress on this count.



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Title: 'Silent' meeting between Mamata, Kumaraswamy in Kolkata sparks political speculations

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