Chennai: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met her Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin at his Chennai residence on Wednesday but described him as her brother and their meeting a courtesy call.
“Stalinji is like my brother and it was a courtesy meeting. Though the programme was not fixed earlier, I am here to attend a family function of Governor L Ganesan. So I came to Chennai. It is my duty to meet Stalinji and have a cup of coffee,” Mamata told reporters outside Stalin’s residence.
Besides Stalin, Banerjee was flanked by MP Kanimozhi, MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin and DMK’s parliamentary party leader T R Baalu. “We said Namaste & Vanakkam.Two political leaders together can talk about things other than politics. We can speak about development too. I think that’s more important than politics.”
Their meeting for about 20 minutes comes amidst talk of the opposition parties coming together ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections to take on the BJP and Telangana’s K Chandrashekar Rao launching his national ambitions with the Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
Banerjee said that she and Stalin did not discuss the issue with their respective governors either. Ganesan, a senior leader of Tamil Nadu’s BJP, was made governor of Manipur and took additional charge of Bengal in July. He has had differences with Banerjee. Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK government too has been facing off with its Governor R N Ravi.
Balu on Wednesday wrote to “like minded members of the Parliament” belonging to other political parties to sign a memorandum by November 3 addressed to the President to immediately recall Ravi.
Stalin took to Twitter to share photos from their meeting and a chat he had, describing Banerjee as a dynamic personality. “She invited me to visit Kolkata sometime in the future and I gladly accepted her invitation,” Stalin said.
He presented her with a book titled, “Rule of the Commoner: DMK and the Formations of the Political in Tamil Nadu, 1949-1967.”