Mamata Banerjee To Visit Delhi, May Meet PM Amid Vice Presidential Poll

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her Delhi visit this evening, people familiar with the matter told NDTV. She will stay in the national capital for four days.
Though Ms Banerjee’s visit is linked to a meeting of the government’s think tank NITI Aayog on Sunday, she would be in the city during the vice presidential election scheduled on Saturday.

Her party, Trinamool Congress, will abstain from voting in the vice presidential election, for which the BJP has fielded Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as the National Democratic Alliance candidate. The opposition’s joint candidate is Margaret Alva.

Ms Banerjee’s party says the opposition parties did not consult them before deciding on Ms Alva.

Mr Dhankhar’s elevation as Vice President will move him out of Bengal to Delhi, and for Ms Banerjee, that is a huge win.

The Chief Minister and Mr Dhankhar have clashed relentlessly over the past three years, with Ms Banerjee accusing the Governor of hounding her at the instance of the BJP at the centre.

Despite the hostile relationship, Mr Dhankhar is believed to have sought Ms Banerjee’s support. The two met in Darjeeling last month and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, known as the BJP’s north-east strategist, was also present.

Mr Banerjee has said most Trinamool MPs were against backing the opposition vice presidential candidate.

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Ms Banerjee had earlier skipped meetings of the NITI Aayog, with claims that the central body has done nothing beneficial for states.

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