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The ‘Chai pe Charcha’ between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was the talk of the town on Wednesday as the two leaders met to prop up a strategy to take on the BJP in the 2024 general elections.

If photos are proof, the meeting — which was also attended by Rahul Gandhi — was on a positive note. As Banerjee entered 10, Janpath, both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi came out to receive her, hands folded in a ‘Namaste’.

Banerjee has a long association with Sonia Gandhi and the two leaders are known to be fond of each other. Earlier in the day, the chief minister had said the Opposition will be stronger this time, kindling hopes for a bloc in 2024 to take on PM Narendra Modi. She had also laid to rest assumptions about her becoming the face of the alliance, saying anyone could be the prime minister and she would not impose her opinions and thoughts.

As she called herself a worker, Banerjee also signalled that her motto is to first unite the opposition and then look for a credible face approved by all. She had also stressed on the need to take along the Grand Old Party if the BJP was to be challenged, clearing the path for an alliance with like-minded parties.

The meeting between the two lasted for more than half an hour and when Banerjee came out, both mother and son bid her farewell, indicating hope for the Opposition for 2024.

On Thursday, Banerjee will meet DMK’s Kanimozhi and Bollywood veterans Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi. While the chief minister is wooing Congress on one hand, on the other, she is meeting with regional power points. According to a TMC insider, Banerjee is the rallying point around which all power points are flexible.

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