Mamata's Alliance Dream With Cong May Have Gone Bust, But 'Phone Call Friendship' Keeps Hope Alive
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee called up her Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot as he turned 68. The conversation ranged from discussion on elections to Cyclone Fani.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a rally in West Bengal. (Image: Twitter)
New Delhi: As Rajasthan CM turned 68 on Friday, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee called him up and wished him on his birthday, said sources.
The two, sources said, exchange notes on the ongoing elections in Rajasthan while Ashok Gehlot also asked Banerjee about the situation in Bengal vis a vis Cyclone Fani.
Although a courtesy characteristic of Banerjee, the call is also significant in light of the potential need for post poll alliances after the election.
As late as February, Banerjee was looking to stitch an alliance with the Congress in order to fight against Narendra Modi. While speaking in Delhi at an opposition rally at Jantar Mantar, she had reiterated her formula for the opposition alliance — fight where each party is strong.
"If you're (Congress) strong in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, fight there. We will fight where we are strong. Let them try to fight me (in Bengal), I will get all 42 seats," she said. This formula, though, Bengal Congress leaders said, was problematic for the grand old party in the state and finally decided to go alone.
Gehlot, sources told News18, had been key to this process and Chandrababu Naidu had met Ashok Gehlot, a Congress general secretary at the time in Amaravati to discuss the same ahead of the first planned meeting of the opposition in November last year.
A source in TMC explained, "Mamata Banerjee knows that she will be an important player in India after the elections. The priority right now is the election result. After that she will see what to do next."
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