West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier in the day, she had met Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma and is also likely to meet Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday. Mamata arrived in Delhi on Monday on her first visit to the national capital after assuming office for the third term.
Speaking to the reporters after the meet, the CM said that she has urged the PM for more Covid vaccines for West Bengal. "It was a courtesy meeting with PM today. During the meeting, I raised the issue of COVID & the need for more vaccines & medicines in the state. I also raised the pending issue of the change of name of the state. On this issue, he said, "He will see."
Mentioning the ongoing Pegasus row, the CM said that a top court-monitored probe should be ordered. "PM should call an all-party meeting on the Pegasus issue. There should be a Supreme Court-monitored probe in this matter," she said.
Mamata's trip to Delhi has triggered talks of the Trinamool Congress chief's national ambition. Her visit is being seen as an attempt to galvanise the disjointed Opposition to take on the might of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024, when the next Lok Sabha elections are scheduled.
Ever since Mamata managed to win a high voltage electoral battle in April/May securing a historic third consecutive term for her after a bitter campaign where she was pitted directly against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, talks have gathered momentum regarding the TMC supremo eyeing the top seat in New Delhi.
Today's meeting between Mamata and PM Modi is the first since the two leaders met for a brief period during the prime minister's visit to Bengal to take stock of the damage done by Cyclone Yaas in May. The relationship between Bengal and Centre had nosedived since the 15-minute meeting after the Union government recalled the then chief secretary of the state Alapan Bandyopadhyay for skipping the PM's review meeting.
She is likely to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday, sources said.
TMC sources said that during her visit from July 26-30, she may also go to Parliament where the Monsoon session is underway.