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Sonia, Mamata share a moment during opposition meet

Last updated on: July 18, 2023 00:08 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi shared moments together, enquiring about each other's health and strategising on opposition unity on the first day of the Bengaluru summit, sources told PTI.

IMAGE: Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Tamil Nadu CM M K Stalin, and DMK leader T R Baalu during the Opposition leaders' dinner meeting, in Bengaluru on Monday. Photograph: ANI Photo

The two leaders met each other after a gap of two years. The last time Banerjee met Gandhi was at the latter's residence in July 2021.

While the two leaders have always had a cordial relationship, certain comments made by Congress leaders both in Delhi and West Bengal were believed to have led to some bad blood between them.


Banerjee, the sources said was particularly upset about the remarks made by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Congress's Lok Sabha MP from Behrampore in West Bengal, labelling her as a dictator and the workers of her Trinamool Congress as goons.

The sources said both Banerjee and Gandhi arrived at the venue of the summit at around 6 pm and were seen chatting with each other for about half an hour, before the meeting started.

They said both enquired about each other's health -- Banerjee is recovering from a knee surgery and Gandhi too has had health issues.

The sources said the two leaders sat next to each other during the meeting that lasted for around an hour and a half and discussed ways in which their parties can work together and stay united against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.

Banerjee, who was supposed to skip a dinner after the meeting due to her surgery, stayed on for some time after the deliberations but did not eat anything, the sources said.

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and national spokesperson Derek O'Brien attended the dinner after Banerjee left.

The Congress and the TMC will play a major role in the coming days to cement the opposition unity.

Gandhi had not attended the last opposition meeting held in Patna on June 23.

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