Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee reached Puri this afternoon. As it was raining heavily she did not go to the Jagannath temple and will be visiting tomorrow. Miss Banerjee has special respect for Lord Jagannath and every year she does a special puja at her residence in Kalighat where the puja is conducted by Dwitapatiji.
Banerjee arrived at Biju Patnaik International Airport where she was received Odisha’s minister of state for home and sports, Tusharkanti Behera.
The West Bengal government has proposed to set up a guest house in Puri where people from the state could stay. Thousands of people from Bengal visit Puri every year. The state government is constructing a replica of Jagannath temple in Digha which will be opened shortly.
Miss Banerjee will meet the president of Biju Janata Dal, Naveen Patnaik at the latter’s residence in Bhubaneshwar on Thursday. She will discuss about the opposition unity with him, sources said.
Miss Banerjee is likely to go to Delhi in the first week of April at the invitation of Arvind Kejriwal where she will be meeting leaders of the opposition parties. On 29-30 March she will protest against the financial deprivation by the Centre.The highhandedness of the investigating agencies at the alleged instruction of the BJP-led Centre to harass the opposition has led to their unity.It may be recalled that Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav met her at her residence last Friday. Miss Banerjee has decided to go ahead without the Congress.
Political experts said the meeting with Mr Patnaik is very significant as both were working to bring the opposition parties together.
Miss Banerjee has made it very clear that Trinamul would get in touch with the regional parties. Miss Banerjee has very cordial relations with the chief minister of Telengana K Chandrashekhar Rao and Tamil Nadu chief minister ML Stalin. Miss Banerjee believes that BJP wants Rahul Gandhi to become the face of the opposition as in that case it would be easier for the party to face 2024 Lok Sabha election.