Mamata Banerjee touches Anna Hazare's feet in New Delhi
Gandhian activist Anna Hazare and Mamata Banerjee had a dinner meeting and shared warm vibes on Tuesday ahead of what is widely expected to be an announcement on his role in her campaign for the national election, due by May.
The Trinamool Congress has called the media for a "mega political announcement" today.
Yesterday, Mamata Banerjee touched the 75-year-old social activist's feet thrice when he arrived for the meeting at the Trinamool headquarters in Delhi. Her demeanour contrasted sharply with her criticism of Anna's movement for the Lokpal, or anti-corruption ombudsman, almost three years ago.
In a similar change of stand on politics, which he had once described as a cesspool, Anna Hazare has decided to campaign for Ms Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress for the election. After meeting the West Bengal Chief Minister yesterday, he explained why.
"She is living a simple life. She is not using government's car, bungalow nor salary. Who does all this these days? The country wants this kind of leadership," the social activist told reporters.
Anna also said Ms Banerjee had agreed to implement his 17-point charter for political parties. It reportedly includes resolving problems faced by people whose land has been acquired for projects, banning Foreign Direct Investment in retail and ending black money.
He had sent the charter to every political party, he said, but only Ms Banerjee responded.
Ms Banerjee had launched her campaign for the Lok Sabha elections last month with a call to her party to look towards Delhi. "BJP is not the alternative to Congress. Congress is not the alternative to BJP. Trinamool is the only alternative in the country today," she told a massive rally in Kolkata last month.