Trinamool to skip July 18 UPA dinnerJuly 13th, 2012 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, July 13 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress - the second-largest constituent of the UPA - has decided to skip the July 18 dinner being hosted by Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi ahead of the presidential poll, a party MP said Friday.
“Yes it has been decided that neither our supremo Mamata Banerjee nor any representative from Trinamool Congress will attend the dinner,” Trinamool Lok Sabha member Kunal Ghosh told IANS here.
“We have taken this decision because of two reasons. One, our party will hold a massive meeting on July 21. Secondly, all the MPs and MLAs (legislators) have been asked to remain in Kolkata since July 18 in view of the July 19 presidential polls,” Ghosh said.
Gandhi would host the dinner for MPs of the UPA and supporting parties.
Congress sources said the meeting is aimed at closer interaction between the alliance partners and supporting parties ahead of the presidential election.
Banerjee, also the West Bengal chief minister, is yet to announce her party’s support to any candidate.
The Trinamool is yet to take a stand on the presidential election after its preferred candidate, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, declined to contest.
Banerjee has so far opposed Mukherjee’s bid for the top post. She is said to have told her aides that she would decide her stand two or three days before the vote.
Mukherjee is pitted against former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, who has the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party and some National Democratic Alliance constituents besides the AIADMK and Biju Janata Dal.
However, Ghosh claimed there was nothing to “read between the lines” over the Trinamool’s decision to stay away from the dinner.
“There is nothing to read much in Trinamool giving the dinner meet a miss. Our general secretary and Railway Minister Mukul Roy would also remain present in the UPA meeting on July 14.”
Ghosh confirmed that Gandhi’s political adviser Ahmed Patel had called up Banerjee and had a brief telephonic conversation with her.
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Tags: abdul kalam, aiadmk, alliance partners, banerjee, bharatiya janata party, biju, congress president, lok sabha member, mlas, mukul, national democratic alliance, political adviser, preferred candidate, presidential poll, presidential polls, railway minister, sonia gandhi, trinamool congress, UPA, west bengal