The meeting has heated up political scenario as Mamata Banerjee has been harshest critic of PM Narendra Modi and the BJP since Parliamentary poll.
Describing her scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday in New Delhi as a “courtesy” one, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she would highlight various issues like funds that are due to the state during her talk with the PM. Talking to reporters at city airport before leaving for the national capital, Banerjee said she would also raise matters like changing name of West Bengal as well merger of public sector banks during the meeting.
Amid hype surrounding the one-on-one meeting between the two leaders, not on good terms since recent general election, Banerjee said her visit to the national capital was part of the “routine work”. According to sources in the state secretariate Nabanna, the CM and PM meeting is scheduled at 4:30 pm on Wednesday.
“I go to New Delhi very rarely. I do not go anywhere because I am having some responsibilities here. We have to go to New Delhi for some administrative reasons because it is the capital, the Parliament is there, the President, Prime Minister all stay there that’s is at times we need to go there. This is a routine work,” the TMC supremo said.
“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. Will also talk about matters like merger of public sector banks, issues with Air India, BSNL, Railways where there are several problems. They (employees of these organisations) cannot go anywhere and come to us,” Banerjee said before leaving for New Delhi.
After Centre’s refusal to clear the West Bengal governments proposal to change the name of the state to Bangla saying the move required constitutional amendment, Banerjee had in July last sent a letter to the Prime Minister raising the issue again and urging him to expedite the matter.
“I would again request you to kindly accept the wishes of the people of West Bengal, as enshrined in the resolution of the West Bengal legislative assembly and in the proposal of the West Bengal cabinet, to rename our state as ‘Bangla’ in English, Hindi and Bengali. This re-christening will be in consonance with the history, culture and identity of our state and will reflected the aspirations of our people. I would request you to kindly get this amendment done accordingly in the current session of the Parliament,” reads an excerpt from the letter.
Her missive to Modi came after Minister of State for Home Affairs- Nityanand Rai- had informed the Lok Sabha that the Union government had not given its go-ahead to the name changing proposal of the West Bengal. Banerjee earlier in the day greeted the PM on his 69th birthday.
The meeting has heated up political scenario here as Banerjee has been harshest critic of Modi and the BJP since Parliamentary poll. She did not attend Modi’s swearing-in in May when he took over charge for the second time and stayed away from the Niti Aayog meeting in June. The last time Banerjee and Modi met was at the Visva Bharati University convocation at Shantiniketan on May 25, 2018.
The meeting assumes significance as it will be held at a time when several leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress and former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar are under CBI scanner in connection with the Saradha ponzi scam. The Saradha group of companies had allegedly duped lakhs of people to the tune of Rs 2500 crore, promising higher rates of returns on their investments.