New Delhi, Nov 17: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Mamata Banerjee met BJP patriarch LK Advani at his residence here on Monday afternoon, giving rise to speculations. Sources in the BJP though said it was just a courtesy meeting between the leaders of two former allies. [Flight to New Delhi delayed, Mamata smells conspiracy]
Banerjee is currently in the capital to attend a programme organised by the Congress to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The Congress has not invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion and the coming together of leaders of other parties like the TMC, JD(U) and Left have made political observers excited about a new equation in Indian politics.
Banerjee later asked CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury why the Left could not stop the BJP's rise in Bengal. Yechury replied by saying that it was the TMC which had brought the BJP to the state once.
Banerjee also told the media that she is always in favour of joining the secular front. Did she also hint at joining the Left to stop the BJP's rise in Bengal?
Mamata Banerjee said she is ready to join any platform to stop communal forces
However, questions were also raised about Banerjee's visit to Advani. Banerjee's TMC was once a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and former BJP prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had also visited her house in Kolkata and praised her simple lifestyle. Why didn't she visit an ailing Vajpayee, about whom she often speaks with respect, if her visit was only a courtesy one?