A long and arduous political journey will culminate in triumph for Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who is all set to be sworn in as the chief minister of West Bengal on May 20. So far, there are ample indications that the Congress will be joining the Mamata-led state government when it is sworn in Kolkata.
It was a triumphant return for the Trinamul chief and Union railway minister when she returned to the capital over a month-and-a-half after she left for the Bengal Assembly polls. Landing in Delhi late on Sunday night, Ms Banerjee then headed for her government flat on Baba Kharag Singh Marg.
Monday was a busy day for Ms Banerjee as she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, besides making a brief and final visit to Rail Bhavan. Emerging from her meeting with Mrs Gandhi, Ms Banerjee told mediapersons that she’d asked the Congress to be part of the West Bengal government.
What she has also clearly conveyed to the Congress is that she would like her party to retain the railway portfolio. Her clear enunciation of this wish has come amidst indications that the Congress would like to get this portfolio back in its fold. However, Ms Banerjee told reporters soon after meeting with the PM, “I told him (the PM) that Railways is with the Trinamul and the Prime Minister is a good man. There is no problem.” She also said that it was for the PM to decide who will take over as the next railway minister.
Ms Banerjee also extended an invite to the PM to attend the swearing-in on May 20, which Ms Banerje said is “a Friday and an auspicious day”. However, the Trinamul chief said that the PM will be visiting Kolkata later and that “he assured me all help for Bengal. He said whatever help is required, he will extend it”.
Earlier, it was a warm meeting of the Trinamul chief with Mrs Gandhi as the former handed over a basket of roses to the latter. Ms Banerjee has also invited the UPA chairperson for the swearing-in to which the latter has told her that she would let her know if she would be attending.
Regarding the issue of the Congress being part of her government, Ms Banerjee said, “Congress will be part of the government. I have invited them and they will let me know.” Asian Age