Mamata's call to Somnath triggers speculation

The new ministry is likely to be sworn in on Friday. She had telephoned the former speaker before she left for New Delhi on Thursday. But, if the timing of the call and content of the conversation have anything to go by, there is something more to it than meets the eye.

Sources  said Mamata called Chatterjee, once her arch political rival, in response to a letter written by the latter to her, expressing his “best wishes” for the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine’s outstanding victory in the assembly elections. Besides wishing the former speaker a good health and a long life, Mamata also told Chatterjee that she would try to meet him after her return to the city, the sources said. Mamata’s claim to fame was her spectacular victory against Chatterjee that enabled her to enter Parliament for the first time from Jadavpur constituency in 1984.

The veteran  leader was  expelled from the CPM in July 2008 for defying the party diktat to vote against the UPA government alongside the BJP. Mamata’s promise to meet him before the  swearing-in ceremony is significant as she might not only extend him an invitation to be present at Raj Bhavan on that day, but also look for “tips” from the leader in the state administration.

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