In a possible thaw in relations, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal is expected to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday at the state secretariat at Nabanna on Thursday. This would be the first time a union minister of the new central government will meet the CM.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani is also expected to meet Mamata on July 4.
Goyal will reportedly attend a Coal India meeting before meeting Mamata. A week ago, state finance minister Amit Mitra, in his pre-budget meeting with union finance minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi, had sought relief for debt-ridden West Bengal.
Goyal has visited Maharashtra and Punjab to assess the power situation there. While an aide of the union minister confirmed Goyal’s visit to Bengal tomorrow, state power minister Manish Gupta said he was clueless about it. “What you have told me is news to me. Had it got anything to do with power, I would have been informed,” Gupta today told The Indian Express. Officials of his department, too, said they were unaware of the meet between Goyal and Mamata.
The state BJP also said they are not informed of Goyal’s visit. “We have not yet received any information from our central leadership,’’ Shamik Bhattacharya, party state general secretary, told The Indian Express. While chief minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik and his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa have already met Modi, Mamata is yet to do so.