Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee discuss 'politics of vendetta'

New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee met Congress president Sonia Gandhi here Tuesday and discussed possible names for a consensus Opposition presidential candidate. She is learnt to have told the Congress president her party was fine with the re-election of President Pranab Mukherjee if there was a consensus on him.

The two leaders also discussed the need for Opposition unity amid the politics of “vendetta” being played out by the ruling party. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was also present at  the meeting.

“Some political vendetta is going on, discussed that in detail. Will meet again within the next 10 days to decide on the consensus candidate,” Ms Banerjee told reporters after the meeting.

She said she had a detailed discussion with Mrs Gandhi on the presidential polls as well as the current political situation.

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

Congress sources told this newspaper that though Ms Banerjee had agreed to the name of former West Bengal governor  Gopalkrishna Gandhi as a possible Opposition candidate, she was also agreeable to a second term for Mr Mukherjee.

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar had said on Monday that he was in favour of Mr Mukherjee being a consensus  candidate for President, but added that it was up to the ruling party  to take the first step in this regard.

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