KOLKATA: “Oh my god,” Trinamool Congress chief and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee interjected at Ranil Wickremesinghe, president of Sri Lanka, when, at an encounter at Dubai airport, he popped a million-rupee question: was she going to head the opposition alliance? If the suddenness of his query had caught her off-guard, she took just a few seconds to regain her composure. It was for the “people” to decide, she answered.
Wickremesinghe, like Banerjee, was en route to Madrid, Spain, from where he and his entourage are scheduled to fly to Havana, Cuba. Their encounter at the Dubai airport’s transit lounge early on Wednesday was purely by chance.
“Can I ask you one thing? Are you going to lead the opposition alliance?” he asked her. The question, apart from evoking the caught-off-guard interjection, left Banerjee beaming for a few seconds. “It depends on the people,” she then told him with a smile.
When the Lankan leader turned to one of his colleagues and Bengal chief secretary, HK Dwivedi, jokingly complaining that she hadn’t quite answered his question properly, Banerjee responded, again with a smile: “Yes sir, I answered. Sir, (the) opposition may be in position also.”
Banerjee will visit Madrid and Barcelona before coming back to Dubai, where she is scheduled to attend several business and sports meets, apart from meeting the Indian diaspora, in an attempt to draw foreign investment.
Both Banerjee and Wickremesinghe had early morning flights from Dubai. After exchanging pleasantries, Banerjee even invited him to the Bengal Global Business Summit, to be held in November this year. Wickremesinghe also asked her to come to Sri Lanka. Banerjee told him she had been to the island nation along time ago, as the Union minister of state for sports and youth affairs.
Hours after Trinamool chief and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee met – purely by chance – Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Dubai airport, the TMC shared three short videos of the two leaders in conversation.
Banerjee herself took to Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) to talk about the meeting. “His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe saw me at the Dubai International Airport Lounge and called me to join for some discussion. I have been humbled by his greetings and invited him to the Bengal Global Business Summit 2023 in Kolkata. He, the President of Sri Lanka extended a cordial invitation to me to visit Sri Lanka. It was a pleasant interaction with deep implications,” she posted on both platforms.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *