Mamata meets Sonia, says names for Prez election not discussed

Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee batted for a joint candidate for the upcoming Presidential election at a meeting today with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The Trinamool Congress chief said names were not discussed, but the need for consensus was reiterated.

“We want the entire opposition to get together and come out with a consensus candidate who will be good for the country,” she told reporters after the 40-minute meeting at 10 Janpath, the residence of the Congress chief.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting here.

“There are so many political equations. We will talk together, we will discuss together. We will prefer a consensus candidate who will work for the country and will be a better candidate for the country,” she said.

The meeting between Banerjee and Gandhi was part of a series of meetings that the Congress president has been holding with other political leaders for a possible joint candidate for the presidential poll.

Banerjee said if the Opposition wanted, it could set aside differences for this purpose.

“There is still time and we will meet again. But the government should also take the initiative for a consensus candidate,” she said.

Banerjee said she would not disclose the discussions that took place but stressed that an ideological fight should be fought politically.

She also criticised the government for unleashing what she called a vendetta against its political rivals.

“In a democracy, it is not right to jail or book opponents by lodging false cases and using investigative agencies such as the CBI against them,” she said.