Speaking to the Indian Express at the state assembly, Mamata said that she had plans to go to Delhi on November 18 to invite President Pranab Mukherjee to join the Biswa Bangla Sanmelan (global summit for investors) to be organised by the West Bengal government on January 7 and 8 in Kolkata.
“There was this closing ceremony of the Kolkata Film Festival on November 17 in which I was supposed to be present. But the invitation (from Sonia Gandhi) to join Nehruji’s birthday had come and I had also received a call from Ahmed Patelji (Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary) to join the ceremony in Delhi. So I cancelled my programme at the film festival and advanced my trip to Delhi,” Mamata, who will be going to Delhi on November 18, said.
Incidentally, the Congress ceremony in Delhi may witness the likes of CPIM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury sharing the dias with the West Bengal Chief Minister.
Earlier during the day, while paying tributes to Nehru at the assembly lobby, Mamata said that Nehru was a true statesman who was the architect of a modern, secular India. “There can be differences in opinion among people but those who are great will always be remembered by people. This kind of people can not be kept under any political boundary. Nehru talked of unity in diversity, he was a true socialist. I salute to him,” Mamata said.
Leader of the opposition in the state assembly Suryakanta Mishra, who was also present said that Nehru, particularly his secular role, was still very much relevant in today’s India. “Nehru was a great secular leader and that role of the first prime minister of India is still relevant in our country,” Mishra said at the ceremony.