With mere days left before West Bengal votes to elect a new Assembly, the Nationalist Congress Party has lent its support to the Trinamool Congress. At the beginning of April, NCP chief Sharad Pawar is set to campaign in West Bengal in support of Mamata Banerjee.
From April 1, the NCP leader will be on a three-day visit to Bengal, where he is slated to hold various rallies and press conferences. According to Maharashtra NCP Spokesperson Mahesh Tapase, he will also meet Mamata Banerjee and TMC workers at the Trinamool Bhavan.
While the NCP and Shiv Sena are allied with the Congress in Maharashtra, the alliance has not extended to West Bengal. The Shiv Sena had initially announced its intention to contest the Assembly polls in the eastern state, however, at the beginning of March it backed Banerjee. Several other parties including the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party have also lent their support to the TMC supremo.
Hailing Banerjee as the "real Bengal tigress", the party, via a tweet from Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, said that it now appeared to be a "Didi vs All fight". Both parties seem to be counting out their Maha Vikas Aghadi ally. The Congress incidentally has allied itself with the Left and will be taking on both the BJP and the TMC groupings.
In the meantime, NCP MP and Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to apprise her of the ongoing crisis in the state. For the uninitiated, the former Mumbai Police Commissioner had accused Maharashtra Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh of corruption. This is first-ever meeting of any leader of the NCP with Sonia Gandhi since the bribery allegation surfaced against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
(With inputs from agencies)