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Mamata Banerjee calls on Stalin, leaders say politics was not discussed

Chennai: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called on her Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin here on Wednesday and the two leaders said politics did not come up during their discussion.

Stalin hailed Banerjee as a dynamic personality and said nothing was discussed about politics or polls, apparently hinting at the 2024 Lok Sabha election. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said Banerjee’s visit was a “courtesy call”.

He said he has accepted her invite to visit Kolkata as her guest. Following the about 20-minute meeting, the two leaders spoke to reporters. Senior leaders Duraimurugan, T R Baalu and party Lok Sabha member Kanimozhi were present.

Banerjee said the purpose of her Chennai visit is to attend a family function of West Bengal Governor La Ganesan on November 3 and her meeting Stalin was out of courtesy.

“I think it is my duty to meet Stalin ji and have a cup of coffee, what is popular in Chennai and we said Namasthe and Vanakkam.” She called on Stalin at his Alwarpet residence here.

She said: “When two political leaders are together, then we can talk something, what may not be political interest of the people, but there is something for development and other things also. I think development is bigger than political one.” The West Bengal Chief Minister in a cryptic remark said that when two political leaders meet there may be talk on something and it may be on politics and socio-cultural dimensions.

To a question related to the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra, Banerjee said she was not inclined to make any comment about any political party.

Asked if there was any discussion on the DMK regime’s issues with Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi, somewhat similar to what was experienced by her government with former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, she said it was not discussed. It was a personal meeting between a brother and sister out of courtesy, she said.

Earlier this year, Stalin said he would launch an All India Federation For Social Justice. Later, he made an appeal to 37 political parties across the country including the Trinamool Congress to join forces with him to protect the interests of the oppressed people.

The DMK regime is at loggerheads with Ravi over pending Bills, his several remarks, like those on Sanatana Dharma and the recent Coimbatore explosion.

Tamil Nadu’s ruling party had months ago demanded his recall in Parliament. The governing DMK and its allies are likely to demand his recall by taking up the matter with President Droupadi Murmu.

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