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Kolkata: National Conference and Trinamool have decided to work closely in the Parliament and outside in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections due next year.

The announcement came after National Conference leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdulla called on Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat Nabanna this evening.

Trinamool chief spokesperson and the party’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien was present in the closed-door meeting between Banerjee and Abdulla.

Emerging from the meeting, Abdulla told reporters that they have discussed the prevailing situation in J&K and the also the situation in the country where the minorities are feeling scared.

“In the prevailing circumstances, we have decided to help each and other. Since our party does not have an MP in the Rajya Sabha, Didi has asked Derek O’Brien to raise Kashmir’s issue in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.

Asked by reporters as to who will be Prime Ministerial candidate of the anti-BJP front that is being talked about for the Lok Sabha polls next year, Abdulla said it was too early to discuss this.

“The election schedule has not been announced yet and hence talking about PM candidate will amount to jeopardising the anti-BJP front. The priority is to oust BJP from Centre, other matters will be decided through discussions,” he said adding: “All anti-BJP parties are welcome to come on board.”

Mamata Banerjee complemented Abdulla’s statement and said: “We are ready to make sacrifices for the country but will not compromise on the country’s interests for any gain. We want to form a people’s government in 2019. Leadership is not an issue.”