Mamata Banerjee to visit Goa next week; will meet leaders from smaller parties
Kolkata, Oct 22: With an aim to make her party's presence felt in Goa, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who roped in a few Congress leaders to Trinamool Congress, will embark on a two-day visit to the poll-bound state next week, a TMC leader said on Friday.
"After returning from her north Bengal visit, the TMC chief will leave for Goa on October 28 on a two-day visit," he said.
During her visit, the West Bengal Chief Minister is expected to hold talks with party leaders, but her itinerary is yet to be finalised, say party sources. She is expected to meet leaders from smaller parties even though party secretary Abhishek Banerjee had ruled out the possibility of allying with other parties, last month.
"Mamata Di might meet some leaders of smaller parties not necessarily for any alliance but may be to invite them to join our party," another TMC leader said. However, the BJP and Congress leaders in West Bengal mocked her visit as "political tourism to the coastal state."
"The weather in Goa now is apt for tourists. She is going there for a vacation," BJP state spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said. Whereas senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan accused her of trying to help her "ally BJP" in Goa.
"The TMC has been constantly attacking the Congress and poaching our leaders. The political posturing of the TMC is aimed at helping the BJP. In Goa too, they are planning to do the same thing," he said.
Former Congress women's wing chief and senior party leader from Assam, Sushmita Dev, had earlier bid goodbye to the grand old party to join the TMC. The Trinamool Congress has been up in arms against Congress over its alleged failure to fight the BJP.
After registering a thumping victory in the assembly elections in Bengal, the Trinamool Congress is trying to increase its footprint nationally and has made inroads in BJP-ruled Goa and Tripura.
Elections to the 40-member Goa assembly will be held early next year.