Mamata Banerjee's Nephew In Delhi To Prep For Chief Minister's Visit
Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is in Delhi today to prep for Mamata Banerjee'e visit to the national capital next week. This will be the first visit of Ms Banerjee to Delhi after her huge victory in the Bengal Assembly Elections in May and after her call for opposition unity yesterday before general elections 2024.Ms Banerjee, who will be in Delhi from July 26-30, is expected to meet several opposition leaders. She is likely to call on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, though no appointment has been confirmed yet by either side. Akhilesh Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal are expected to call on her as well.Political activity has intensified over the last month, starting with poll strategist Prashant Kishor's two meetings with Sharad Pawar. Subsequently, the poll savant, who helped Mamata Banerjee fight the BJP in state elections, met the Gandhis."We will not be cowed in our fight against the authoritarian forces in the country," Abhishek Banerjee, Mamata Banerjee's nephew, said before he flew to Delhi. He thanked all the leaders of over half a dozen opposition parties who gathered at the Constitution Club in Delhi yesterday to listen to Ms Mamata Banerjee's speech on the occasion of the party's Shahid Diwas where she appealed for opposition unity ahead of 2024.The West Bengal Chief Minister's visit also coincides with the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament where the Pegasus spyware scandal has already kicked up much dirt and controversy. It is alleged that a host of Indian phone numbers of opposition leaders, journalists, human rights activists were reportedly targeted for surveillance by the government.Trinamool MPs will be meeting today for a brainstorming session at a lunch hosted by party's Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray.Abhishek Banerjee is guest of honour and there are two other special invitees -- Yashwant Sinha and Mukul Roy. Mr Sinha, a former BJP leader, is being viewed as a potential candidate to one of two Rajya Sabha seats from the state that are lying vacant.The Election Commission has declared August 9 as the poll date for seat vacated by former Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi, who quit on February 12 and joined the BJP .The last date for filing nomination is July 26.Another Rajya Sabha seat was vacated by Trinamool MP Manas Bhuiyan, who contested the Assembly elections and is now a minister in the Mamata Banerjee government. No date has been set for elections to that seat yet.Besides finalising candidates for the Rajya Sabha seats, Abhishek Banerjee will have a lot on his plate. Ever since Parliament started Trinamool has been aggressive in challenging the ruling BJP. Mr Banerjee is expected to discuss how to keep that momentum up.