Didi praises Sonia for recent protests

A day before meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Narendra Modi received a pat on her back from Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who said she has learned the art of fighting from the firebrand Bengal leader.

Gandhi said it after Banerjee praised her recent fight against the NDA government at the Centre, sources said. The two leaders, who share a personal rapport, met in the Parliament when the Congress chief walked up to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and greeted her with a big hug and smile and asked whether she was continuing with her fight. Gandhi then called Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and introduced him to Banerjee.

The bonhomie ahead of the crucial Assembly election in West Bengal made the political observers interested. The TMC is enjoying an upper hand in the state at the moment.

While the Left is struggling to recover from a serious adversity in the state, the BJP is yet to get a strong base there. The Congress’s stand is yet not clear for the state leadership is not on the best of terms with the TMC supremo. The final decision on the party’s poll strategy in Bengal, to go alone or not, ultimately lies with the high command.

 Banerjee also met her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, who is slowly becoming a rallying point for the anti-BJP forces, during a vegetarian dinner on Tuesday.

Sources said the meeting, which took place at a TMC MP’s residence, was just a courtesy call.

In May, when Kejriwal was engaged in a turf war with Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung, had Banerjee tweeted: “Too much interference in the federal structure is unacceptable. The state government is an elected body. Central government is also an elected body.

Every elected body has its own jurisdiction. One must respect the other.”
Kejriwal has also met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar--another strong critic of Prime Minister Modi - more than once in the last few months.

The Bengal CM also met other senior leaders Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel and others during the day.

Banerjee will discuss the severe flood situation in her state, which has led to several deaths and loss of property, with the PM on Wednesday.

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