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With Eyes Set on Top Job in Indian Politics, Mamata Banerjee Applies for Delhi Press Club Membership


New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday applied for a membership at the Delhi Press Club, sources revealed.

The decision was taken during an off-record conversation with the journalists at the Delhi press club, where Banerjee met members of the press over sabutdana pakoras (tapioca fritters) and tea.

Earlier, Banerjee was a member of the press club in Kolkata as the editor of Jago Bangla — the organ of the Trinamool Congress. Sources maintained that this is a part of her larger attempt to increase her footprint in the national politics, particularly in Delhi.

As Banerjee eyes for the top job in Indian politics, she is also looking to improve her relations with the national media, said sources. “She has a very media-friendly image in West Bengal and wants to take that to a larger scale,” a senior TMC leader told News18.
Sources said that Banerjee has applied for the membership as a member of the editorial board of Jago Bangla. She is also likely to release her book at the end of this month at the Delhi press club.

“The book release was originally slated to be held in Kolkata. But during a chat with Press Club members, she called up the publisher and asked them to coordinate with the Delhi Press Club and hold it here,” said the source.

The West Bengal CM is likely to be in national capital on February 25 to figure out the contours of the common minimum programme — which remained the main topic of questions for the unscheduled press conference that followed.

Asked about Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Banerjee said, “There are a lot of parties here that have political compulsions. In my state the Left and Congress contest against us…Congress will contest in MP, I’ll not contest there. But they have to see.”

“Look at Delhi, they’re ready to work for an alliance. But Congress has to decide,” she said, adding that Kejriwal has fought very hard against the Centre to keep the government functioning. “In every state, people know who to vote for and how to vote,” she said, when asked about how voters would react to unlikely coalitions.

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| Edited by: Divya Kapoor

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