Mamata, Pawar hold half-an-hour meeting on Parliament premises
Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met with NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the NCP Parliamentary Party office at Parliament House.
"When political leaders meet, they do discuss politics," Banerjee told reporters emerging out of the meeting. Among others, NCP leader Praful Patel and Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi were also present in the meeting - which was being billed in the media as a 'crucial' one to cement unity among key regional parties in the run up to the general elections in 2019.
When contacted, Patel merely said, "It was a good meeting". The meeting lasted for about 30 minutes.He, however, said the recent UP bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur has shown that only a "united opposition sticking together can give a major fight to the BJP".Earlier in the day, NCP sources clarified that Pawar had "no plans" to host any dinner nor convened any meeting of regional parties to discuss about formation of a new front.
"There is also no plan for any grand meeting of regional parties with Pawar as the chief anchor," the source sought to clarify to reports in the media that Pawar has convened a meeting of regional parties and would also host dinner for the leaders.
According to sources, NCP leader Praful Patel has held a meeting with Banerjee recently in Kolkata fueling speculation of a larger tie up between NCP and Trinamool Congress.
However, NCP sources said Praful Patel's meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister was in relation to work projects of All India Football Federation.
During her stay in the capital, Banerjee is likely to call on Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. But Trinamool sources said such a meeting would be only a courtesy call as Gandhi has been unwell recently.