Mamata Banerjee Says Meeting With Narendra Modi Fruitful; Invites PM To West Bengal
Mamata had said that she would meet PM Modi to discuss about various issues including funds that were due to West Bengal from the Centre’s coffers for various pending projects.
The meeting between the two political opponents comes at a time when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning a mega event in West Bengal. This is for the first time that the West Bengal CM has met PM Modi after he came to power for the second time. The minutes of today's the meeting is still not known.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 18, 2019
Soon after meeting with PM Modi, Banerjee spoke to reporters and said that the discussion on all the issues pertaining to development went very well between her and prime minister. However, when asked about questions related to Saradha chit fund scam, Banerjee did not answer clearly. "Don't ask me all these nuisance questions, didn't discuss all this with PM Modi," she said.
"It was only a chair to chair meeting and not a political meeting. If Amit Shah can give me time, I would want to meet him once tomorrow for courtesy," Mamata Banerjee said. Shah is currently in Jharkhand to attend the Purvodaya 2019 summit organised by ABP News.
Banerjee also clarified that nothing was discussed on NRC with PM Modi and said that BJP can make political statements wherever they want as her meeting with PM Modi was not political. West Bengal CM also said that disinvestment in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) were also discussed with PM Modi. "We discussed changing the name of West Bengal to 'Bangla'. He has promised to do something about the matter," she said.
"I have also requested the Prime Minister to attend the programme for world's second-largest coal block Deocha Pachami in Birbhum district after Navratri puja. The project is worth Rs 12,000 crores," she added.
On September 17, Banerjee told reporters that she would also raise issues such as the state’s name change and matters like merger of public sector banks (PSBs) during the meeting. "I go to New Delhi very rarely. This is a routine work. This time I am going to talk about funds that are due to West Bengal. I will also highlight issues like change of West Bengal's name,” Banerjee said.
Despite Banerjee's justification of the meeting, there has been massive speculations that the two leaders would discuss about the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is hunting for the Bengal CM’s former top cop, Rajeev Kumar.
Earlier this week, BJP leadership mocked Banerjee for seeking an appointment to meet PM Modi in Delhi calling it a "classic example of oppurtunistic politics" and "a desperate attempt to save herself from the clutches of CBI".
"We all know the kind of language she (Banerjee) had used against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Lok Sabha elections and afterwards. She never had any regard for the federal structure and had even said she does not feel the need to respect Modiji as prime minister," news agency PTI quoted BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha as saying.
The news agency had also quoted another senior BJP leader, who did not wish to be named, Banerjee is going to Delhi to save herself and her party leaders from the clutches of CBI, which is investigating the multi crore chit fund scam in Bengal. TMC, however, termed BJP'S claims as baseless and said Banerjee is well within her rights to meet the prime minister to discuss developmental issues of the state.
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