Mamata-Modi meeting likely at Raj Bhavan
Kolkata: There is likelihood of a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Raj Bhavan on Saturday notwithstanding the sharp verbal volleys they have exchanged over the CAA issue in recent times, sources said on Friday.
If the meeting comes through on Saturday night, it would be the second face-to-face interaction between the two seasoned politicians after the Lok Sabha polls.
Banerjee had called on Modi in New Delhi on September 18, a meeting that had also generated much controversy as it came against the backdrop of then state police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Additional Director General Rajeev Kumar fighting court cases against the Central Bureau of Investigation which was seeking his custodial interrogation in connection with the probe into the multi-billion ponzi scam cases.
The state BJP, as also the Left Front and the Congress, had then claimed that Banerjee had rushed to Delhi to plead with the Prime Minister so as to save Kumar, considered her blue-eyed boy.
The Trinamool, however, had strongly refuted such allegations, while Banerjee averred that she discussed Bengal’s pending financial dues from the centre under the various Centre-state jointly sponsored programmes and issues like disinvestment of PSUs.
This time, Banerjee has emerged as one of the first and strident voices of protest against the citizenship law Citizenship (Amendment) Act and a proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The Prime Minister also last month hit out at Banerjee, accusing her of changing her earlier stand on infiltrators due to “vote-bank” politics.
As per the latest programme schedule of the Prime Minister, he has a reserved time slot from 9.10 p.m. Sources said the Modi-Banerjee meeting could be accommodated during this slot.
Also, Banerjee is learnt to have agreed to attend the inaugural programme of the sesquicentennial celebrations of Kolkata Port on Sunday, where Modi would be the chief attraction.
Shipping Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya went to the secretariat Nabanna on Friday evening to invite Banerjee for the programme at the Netaji Indoor stadium.
Sources said Banerjee indicated to the minister that she would attend the function.