Akhilesh met the Bengal CM at her residence in Kolkata hours after their parties appeared to find common ground in jointly resisting what he termed “political misuse of central agencies against opposition parties” by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Akhilesh Yadav meets CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata
The SP chief later tweeted two pictures from the 30-minute meeting. “Had a meeting with everyone’s favourite Didi in Kolkata today,” he wrote.
Akhilesh said his party’s decision on whom to align with was based on political realities. “In Bengal, we are with Mamata Didi…Does Congress have any stake in UP?” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
The SP chief, who is in town for his party’s two-day national executive meeting beginning Saturday, lauded Mamata for handing BJP a big defeat in the 2021 assembly polls.
Talk of a third front, which Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao has also been trying to initiate, gained traction after sources said Mamata would meet Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on March 23 before visiting Delhi later this month or early April to speak to her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal.
Trinamool MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said the party was “in the process of interacting with multiple regional parties”, hastening to add that “I won’t say a third front is happening immediately”.
On Congress not being part of the plan, he said, “Any attempt by Congress to be the big boss of opposition will be resisted. Trinamool Congress is the second largest opposition party in India, and we are a force to reckon with.”