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Akhilesh fills visit void

Akhilesh and Mamata at Writers’. (Bishwarup Dutta)

Calcutta, Sept. 12: Akhilesh Yadav called on Mamata Banerjee at Writers’ Buildings this evening during his first visit to the state as Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

“A visit to Calcutta would have been incomplete had I not met Didi. She struggled a lot to come to power in Bengal and she is living up to the expectations of the people,” Akhilesh said after the meeting.

Mamata thanked Akhilesh for the visit. “We discussed development schemes that he is planning for Uttar Pradesh. We will try to implement them in Bengal too,” she said.

Mamata presented her Uttar Pradesh counterpart an uttariya and handicrafts, a Writers’ source said.

Akhilesh, Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and several party leaders, including Jaya Bachchan, are in Calcutta for a two-day national executive meeting that began today.

A Samajwadi leader said Akhilesh told Mamata that his party leadership would discuss the possibility of a tie-up with regional parties such as the Trinamul Congress for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls despite being a “traditional ally” of the Left.

A Trinamul source said Akhilesh requested Mamata to tell railway minister Mukul Roy to implement railway projects in Uttar Pradesh fast. “The chief ministers discussed ways to increase co-ordination between the two governments in implementing development schemes,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Mulayam said no party could form a government at the Centre without the Samajwadis’ help.