'Should Call All-Party Meet on Pegasus': Mamata After Meeting PM Modi

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>PM Modi with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.&nbsp;</p></div>

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence in New Delhi on Tuesday, 27 July.

Addressing the media afterwards, Banerjee said the PM should call an all-party meeting to discuss the Pegasus 'snooping' controversy. "There must be a Supreme Court-monitored probe."

Calling it a "courtesy meeting," Banerjee said she raised the issue of increasing the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the state before the third wave so that its entire population can be vaccinated.

The issue of change of name of West Bengal was also raised by her, she said, adding that she has been invited by Congress President Sonia Gandhi for tea on Wednesday.

On Opposition unity, the CM said it will take shape on its own.

Mamata Meets Congress Leaders Anand Sharma, Kamal Nath

The TMC supremo also pointed out that she has been invited to meet President Ram Nath Kovind, but his team has insisted she undergo an RT-PCR test. "I'm double vaccinated, so I will request President to reconsider," she said.

Before meeting PM Modi, the TMC leader met Congress leaders Anand Sharma and Kamal Nath as part of her three-day visit to Delhi. She will be meeting TMC MPs on Wednesday.

"Mamata Banerjee and I have close ties as we've worked together for years. I appreciate her for how she fought the recent polls and won. She's come to Delhi for the first time after victory, so I came and had tea with her."
Congress leader Anand Sharma, as quoted by ANI

This is the Bengal CM's first trip to the national capital after her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), registered an emphatic victory over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the West Bengal Assembly elections earlier this year.


We Need to Start Planning From Now: Banerjee

The West Bengal CM's meetings with leaders of Opposition parties have been expected to discuss a possible anti-BJP front for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

At a TMC event on 21 July that was virtually attended by Opposition leaders, like Sharad Pawar and many more from the Constitutional Club in Delhi, Banerjee had raised the Pegasus 'snooping' controversy, saying, "Even Modiji's own minister is on the list. All leaders, police, judges, and bureaucrats have been infected by Pegasus. Pegasus is dangerous, ferocious."

"I don't know what will happen in 2024, but we need to start planning from now. Now is the time to plan against eradicating the disease. If you don't start planning now, you will lose time," she had said to the Opposition leaders, urging them to come together against the BJP.

She had then requested Pawar to organise a meeting of Opposition leaders while she was visiting Delhi.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are also expected to call on Banerjee during her trip.


First Meeting in Delhi

After arriving in Delhi on Monday, Banerjee met with Vineet Narain, the journalist who wrote a book on the Jain Hawala 'scam' in 1996. He recently congratulated her for raising the unresolved 'scam'.

Banerjee had alleged that Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was one of the alleged beneficiaries of the 'scam'.

Last week, Banerjee was named leader of the Trinamool parliamentary party, though she is not an MP.

First Judicial Inquiry Into Pegasus

Banerjee's Delhi visit coincides with the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which has been marked by uproar over the alleged targeted surveillance done via Pegasus.

Banerjee on Monday had announced the country's first judicial inquiry headed by former judges into the Pegasus case, in which several journalists, Opposition leaders, and others have been identified as potential targets of Israeli company NSO's Pegasus spyware.

The chief minister's nephew and Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee is among those named as potential targets from a leaked database.

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