West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s five-day Delhi visit concluded
on Friday. She was in Delhi to meet several Opposition leaders including
Congress president Sonia Gandhi in what seemed to be an attempt to forge an opposition
unity going into the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Her parting words were, “Democracy
must go on”.

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“There cannot be anything better than opposition unity for a political
purpose. I couldn’t meet every leader that I wanted to because of COVID
protocols. However, the outcome of the meetings has been good. Let us work
together,” Mamata Banerjee said calling her Delhi visit “successful”.

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Banerjee’s Delhi visit follows her resounding victory in the West Bengal
assembly elections a few months ago where her party, the Trinamool Congress,
veritably trumped the BJP.

Among Opposition leaders, the Trinamool chief met Congress president Sonia
Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leaders like Anand
Sharma, Kamal Nath and Abhishekh Singhvi, DMK leader Kanimozhi.

Mamata’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi was of immense significance since it was
their first interaction since the Congress and Trinamool fought as rivals in
the West Bengal assembly elections. Her meeting with Gandhi was a significant
sign of a burgeoning political unity among Opposition forces.

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The Bengal Chief Minister said that she also spoke with Nationalist
Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar over the phone. “Today I talked to
Sharad ji also. He went to Mumbai. Next time we will me meeting also,” she

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Mamata’s proclamation, “Ab poore desh mein khela hobe” (the game will be on
all over the country now) seems to have blown the poll bugle for the 2024 Lok
Sabha election.

On Tuesday, Banerjee said that opposition unity will take shape on its own,
sidestepping questions of her taking on leadership.

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Asked about her efforts to unite Opposition leaders, Mamata said that it
will happen “automatically”. She said that she will meet all Opposition leaders
after the Parliament session is over and the coronavirus situation normalises.

On her way out, Mamata said, “I will return to the national capital once
every two months.  

Banerjee also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Transport Minister
Nitin Gadkari during her Delhi visit.