Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav are likely to meet in Kolkata on Friday to discuss opposition unity for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Trinamool Congress sources said.
According to the sources, the two leaders, at the meeting at Banerjee’s residence at Kalighat in south Kolkata, are likely to discuss possibilities of having a grand opposition alliance against the BJP but without involving Congress in that initiative.
“Akhilesh Yadav will be attending a national working committee of his party at a hotel in Kolkata on Friday. After attending that meeting, he is likely to go to the Chief Minister’s residence at Kalighat at around 5 p.m. Before that on the same afternoon, the chief minister has convened a meeting of the core committee of her party at 3 p.m. which will also be attended by Trinamool Congress’s national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee,” said a senior member of the West Bengal cabinet who refused to be named.
Last week, leaders of eight opposition parties, including Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining that the central agencies like Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate are specially targeting the opposition parties in the country in a biased manner. However, there was no signatory from Congress or the Left parties in that letter.
On Monday on the occasion of the last day of the extended budget session of the West Bengal Assembly, a motion was passed condemning the hyperactive role of the central agencies in West Bengal. Speaker Biman Bandopadhyay observed that if the central agencies decide to take any action against any member of the house, the office of the Speaker should be intimated first. However, when that motion was passed none of the opposition BJP legislators were present within the house.