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Mamata, Advani bury the hatchet
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | June 24, 2003 16:05 IST
Trinamool Congress leaders on Tuesday said party chief Mamata Banerjee's invitation to Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani to attend an 'important function' in Kolkata signalled the burial of hatchet between them.
"Advaniji has accepted didi's (Banerjee's) invitation to visit Kolkata on July 6 to attend a function to honour (the late Jana Sangh leader) Shyama Prasad Mookerjee," a party Lok Sabha member told rediff.com
"It seems that bad vibes between the two is a thing of the past," he said.
The Trinamool chief met Advani on Monday to tell him about the 'excesses' of the Marxist government in West Bengal.
Ties between Banerjee and the Bharatiya Janata Party had soured after she tried to prevent the bifurcation of the Eastern Railways.
Later, she held Advani responsible for the bifurcation. In a statement, she said she preferred her slippers to a Union Cabinet berth, which was then being offered to her.
Relations between the two parties hit a low until they decided they would have to jointly fight the Leftists in the 2004 general election.
Last Saturday, when National Democratic Alliance members, including Banerjee, met to decide whether to send Indian troops to Iraq, they took two other decisions.
The first related to an NDA team being sent, on Banerjee's request, to West Bengal to see whether the government there was indeed mistreating the opposition and flouting democratic norms.
Another Trinamool leader told rediff.com: "We hope that the Centre will heed our warning against the state government. We are confident that the NDA team will see for itself the kind of atrocities that Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government is unleashing."
But despite the recent bonhomie, a veteran BJP leader said the party leadership at the recently concluded chintan baithak (brainstorming session) decided that no Trinamool member would hitherto find a place in the Union Cabinet.
However, this will suit Banerjee, who recently prevented her party's Sudip Bandopadhyaya from becoming a central minister. She suspected that Bandopadhyaya was getting too close to the BJP.
The lady is now trying to strengthen the Trinamool-BJP relation in West Bengal to fight the Left Front in the state.
More reports from West Bengal