West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in Delhi on Monday, 26 July, for her three-day trip. She is will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 4 pm on Tuesday.
Banerjee will also be holding separate meetings with Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Anand Sharma and Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Tuesday.
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.
Mamata Expected to Meet Top Opposition Leaders
TMC leader Mukul Roy has also accompanied Mamata to Delhi. Roy, once a tall leader in the party, defected to the BJP in 2017, before returning to the TMC again after BJP lost the Bengal elections.
Roy was also a former Union minister for railways and a Rajya Sabha MP.
TMC MP and Mamata's nephew Abhishek Banerjee, ostensibly the number 2 in the party, flew to Delhi last week.
Mamata's meetings with leaders of opposition parties are expected to discuss a possible anti-BJP front for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
A meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind may also be on the cards.
A tweet by the official handle of the Congress party, the day before Banerjee's visit, had also set political circles abuzz.
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, Mamata 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," Mamata 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.
Mamata Announces Commission of Enquiry Into Pegasus 'Snooping' Allegations
Before heading out to Delhi, Mamata, at a Cabinet meeting of the West Bengal government, announced a commission of enquiry into the alleged illegal hacking of phones and gadgets in West Bengal. Former Supreme Court judge Justice MB Lokur and former Calcutta High Court judge Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya were appointed as members of the committee.
This makes West Bengal the first state to order an enquiry into the findings of the 'Pegasus Project', an investigation by a global consortium of journalists.
The Project revealed that Pegasus, an Israeli-firm spyware, had allegedly been used to illegally hack into the phones of journalists, politicians, heads of states, activists, and ordinary citizens across the world.
In the list of potential targets of the spyware were names of many eminent Indians from across different fields. Abhishek Banerjee was identified as a potential target of the spyware. The investigative report further stated that the phone of political strategist Prashant Kishor, who aided the Trinamool's election campaign during the Bengal elections, was hacked during the election.
Opposition leaders, like Congress' Rahul Gandhi, were also reported to be potential targets of the spyware.
Mamata's Delhi trip is being seen as a start to bring Opposition leaders together against the BJP.