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Mamata leaves for Delhi to attend programme on Nehru, setting off political buzz

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Kolkata (Nov. 16, 2014): Setting off speculation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday left for New Delhi on an invitation by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to attend a programme on Jawaharlal Nehru. The chief minister abandoned a plan to attend the closing ceremony of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) on Monday, to make herself available in the national capital.

Banerjee's first visit to New Delhi after the last Lok Sabha election generated feverish speculation in the political circle here about a possible tie-up with the Congress ahead of the Assembly election in 2016. The two parties were not in good terms ever since Congress fared poorly in the 2012 civic poll which it had fought jointly with the Trinamool Congress. The bitterness reached its height prior to this year's Lok Sabha election.

Banerjee, who was scheduled to leave for the national capital by an Air India flight but left by an Indigo flight as Air India rescheduled flight timing. She looked unhappy at the change of flight timing.

Paying rich tributes to the country's first Prime Minister on his 125th birth anniversary on November 14, Banerjee had said that great leaders like him were beyond political boundaries. Terming Nehru as the "architect" of modern India and a "socialist", Banerjee also said that Nehru's mantra of "Unity in Diversity" was important and of much relevance for the country's progress.