Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday gave a miss to a state-level function to mark the third anniversary of her pet project Kanyashree. A packed audience at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, which expressed surprise at the CM’s absence, was in for a shock when state Finance Minister Amit Mitra declared that Mamata was the country’s Prime Minister.
“Amader prodhan montri ke (Who is our Prime Minister),” Mitra asked girl students who had come to attend the event from schools across the state right at the beginning of his speech. Even as many said ‘Modi’, Mitra blurted out: “Mamata Banerjee.” Mitra was speaking on women achievers of the state. Present on the stage at that time were state Minister Sashi Panja, Trinamool Congress MLA Vaishali Dalmiya and West Bengal Commission for Women Chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee, among others.
Sources said Mamata was unwell and thus did not attend the meet. “One of the reasons why no senior leader present at the event mentioned Mamata’s absence was because they did not know what has happened in reality,” said a senior leader.
Mitra’s comments, which Trinamool insiders termed as a “as a slip of tongue”, amused many. Sunanda Mukherjee, on the sidelines of the event, said: “It is his imagination and perhaps his dream. It is fine if he thinks so.”
“I could not stop laughing. It was so funny… little children know who our Prime Minister is but the state finance minister doesn’t,” said a student from Nadia’s school, the district which won the first prize for its performance in Kanyashree project.
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State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, meanwhile, refused to accept that the statement was a slip of tongue. “He did not even correct himself,” he said.