'We Will Be There,' Mamata Banerjee Tweets Lalu Yadav Amid Tax Raids

Minutes before West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, she sent a warm tweet of support to Bihar politician Lalu Yadav.

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'We Will Be There,' Mamata Banerjee Tweets Lalu Yadav Amid Tax Raids

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Congress president Sonia Gandhi today

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Mamata Banerjee said she will take part in a mega rally on August 27
  2. Lalu Yadav is accused of proxy land deals worth Rs 1,000 crore by I-T
  3. Mamata Banerjee met Sonia Gandhi to discuss presidential candidates
Just before she walked in for a 5 pm appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sent a warm tweet of support today to Bihar politician Lalu Yadav, accused of proxy land deals worth Rs 1000 crore by Income Tax officials, who searched almost 20 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon today in the case. 

Mamata Banerjee's tweet was in response to Lalu Yadav's post from two days ago, when he had alleged a conspiracy to jail him to ensure that he cannot hold a mega rally he has announced in August to bring together parties to take on the ruling BJP. 

"Lalu Ji we accepted your invitation to be there on Aug 27. We will be there," Ms Banerjee tweeted on Tuesday evening.

Lalu Yadav, 68, had said, "BJP says dey wil jail me asap so our proposed 27th Aug Maha-Rally can't tk place.Haha.My name is Lalu & I pity 4 such intimidators (sic)."

As the raids were conducted, he tweeted in Hindi today, "The BJP does not have the courage to stifle my voice...If it tries to silence one Lalu, crores of Lalu will come forward," also adding, "Our alliance is unbreakable." 

The BJP, which is the chief opposition party in Bihar, has been releasing documents that it alleges proves Lalu Yadav used his earlier posts of Chief Minister of Bihar and Union Railways Minister for corrupt land deals in Patna, Delhi and other places. 

Lalu Yadav's RJD is a partner in the government of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has said that if the BJP or central government have evidence of his ally's corruption, they should take action.

Rivals for years, Mr Kumar and Mr Yadav joined hands in the last Bihar assembly elections along with the Congress in what was called a Grand Alliance to defeat the BJP, in a partnership that since seen some turbulence. 

Both Bihar leaders are currently engaged in efforts to unite opposition parties for discussions on fielding a common candidate for President. It is seen as test case for a Bihar-like alliance of multiple opposition parties for the national election in 2019, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek re-election. 

Ms Banerjee met Sonia Gandhi this evening to discuss possible candidates and said, "no names have been discussed." The Bengal chief minister has also accused the BJP of using central agencies to settle political scores and said today, "Political battles should be fought politically; They don't like someone, they throw charges at them, they get them raided, they jail them." Ms Banerjee said. 
     
Mr Yadav had announced his August 17 rally planned in Bihar capital Patna, designed as a show of strength by anti-BJP parties, earlier this month.

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