Congress Pats Mamata for staying away from NDA meeting

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (UNI) West Bengal Congress Legislature Party(CLP) leader Manas Bhuiya today welcomed Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's decision of not attending the NDA meeting held at the residence of BJP leader L K Advani.

He said her decision of neither attending the meeting herself, nor sending a representative from her party had given a clear indication that she was now drifting away from the NDA fold.

''We earnestly hope that she should now announce her decision of quiting NDA and join the non-BJP democratic secular forces in Bengal for ousting the Left Front forces in the State,'' he said.

It would be ideal for Ms Banerjee to quit NDA at the earliest and join the secular forces for the development of the State, he added.

Mr Bhuiya described the decision of the All India Forward Block (AIFB) to contest all the 15 Assembly seats in Tripura alone as a ''significant development''.

AIFB is a Left Front partner in West Bengal as well as in Tripura and one can expect that this is the end of the begining of their relationship with the Left Front, he said.

Earlier at a press conference, BJP leader Mrs Sushma Swaraj, informing about the absence of Trinamool representative at the NDA meeting this morning, said the Trinamool Congress had expressed its wish to attend the deliberations till late last night.

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