The differences between West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and other opposition parties over selection of a unanimous opposition candidate for the Presidential polls, seem to be widening, as she, in all probability, will skip the meeting called by NCP chief Sharad Pawar on June 21.
Instead, she is likely to depute her nephew and Trinamool national General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee to attend.
Officially, the Trinamool leadership is stating that her most likely absence in the meeting convened by Pawar will be because of her pre-scheduled appointment on that day. However, party insiders said that the actual reasons might be the growing grievances in the mind of the Chief Minister over certain developments since she convened a similar meeting on this count at New Delhi's Constitution Club on June 15.
The first reason is that in the invitation to opposition parties to attend the meeting convened by Pawar, there is absolutely no reference to the previous meeting on June 15.
"In the meeting at Constitution Club on June 15, 2022, it was unanimously decided that Pawar would convene the next meeting of the opposition parties on the issue of Presidential polls. However, surprisingly the invitation for the meeting on June 21 does not have any reference of the decision taken on this count in the meeting on June 15. This is somewhat belittling the efforts of the Chief Minister who took the first initiative to call an opposition meeting on this count," a senior West Bengal cabinet minister said.
Secondly, Banerjee is reportedly unhappy with the manner in which the National Conference chief Farooq Abdulla withdrew name as a probable opposition candidate in the Presidential polls by making a public statement later and without saying anything about his reluctance on this count at the June 15 meeting.
However, another section in the Trinamool does not look at the issue in that way. They feel that the Chief Minister wants Abhishek Banerjee to play a major role on behalf of the party in national politics and hence, his presence at the June 21 meeting was the right opportunity to project him on this count.