Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — on way to Spain to seek investment — had an impromptu meeting with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Dubai airport. The conversation between the two leaders, apparently, was all politics and on the occasion, the President asked a crucial question that’s uppermost in the minds of many.
“Can I ask you a question,” Mr Wickremesinghe is heard saying in a short clip that was circulated online. On Ms Banerjee’s acquiescence, he said, “Will you lead the Opposition alliance? We all are wondering”.
“Oh my goodness,” the Bengal Chief Minister said, completely taken aback. Then laughing, she added, “It depends on the will of the people, you know… If people support us, we can be in position (power) tomorrow.”
The Opposition Front INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) is currently being run by collectin=ve leadership and who it will finally choose as the face to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has intrigued many.
The Front leaders have maintained silence, remarking that there are many who are eligible and a call can be taken when the time comes.
The leadership question has earlier proved divisive for most opposition fronts, with many leaders not seeing eye to eye with the Congress, the largest national party in the grouping.
This time, the Congress has been careful to keep to the background, ceding the pole position to other leaders including Ms Banerjee, her Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar and Maharashtra’s Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray.
Sources said Mr Wickremesinghe also gifted a painting to Mamata Banerjee.