West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to step up efforts to forge a ‘federal front’ during her three-day visit to the national capital and invite opposition leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, for a rally in Kolkata on January 19.
Banerjee, who has arrived in the capital, will be the chief guest at the a conclave by Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India on Tuesday and is expected to hit out at Modi government during her speech.
She will meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the evening and express her strong concern over the exclusion of 40 lakh people from the first draft of the the National Register of Citizens in Assam.
During the day, she will also go to the residence of former Union Minister Ram Jethmalani where she will also meet actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha and Rashtra Manch leader Yashwant Sinha. While Shatrughan Sinha has been taking digs at the BJP leadership, Yashwant Sinha had quit the party earlier this year.
Banerjee will be in Parliament on August 1 and meet leaders from opposition parties as also from Shiv Sena, an ally of the BJP. She is expected to personally invite leaders for the Kolkata rally.
Though her meeting with Sonia Gandhi has not been scheduled, party leaders said there could be certain circumstantial meetings with leaders of opposition parties when Banerjee will be in parliament, which is in session.
The Kolkata rally is expected to help Banerjee emerge as a pivot of the opposition efforts to dislodge the Modi government in the 2019 elections.
She would also interact with the media during her visit to the parliament.