West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday termed her scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday as a “courtesy” one and said she would bring up various issues including funds that are due to the state.
“I go to New Delhi very rarely. This is a routine work. 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,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Trinamool Congress supremo further said she would raise issues related to the merger of public sector banks during the meeting. “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.
In July, Banerjee had written to PM Modi to expedite the process of changing the name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’.
Explained: The long journey from West Bengal to Bangla
Earlier in the day, Banerjee— who has been one of the vocal critics of BJP and Modi—greeted the PM on his 69th birthday.
On Monday, after the West Bengal secretariat confirmed Modi-Mamata meet, the BJP took a dig at Banerjee, terming her move as a “classic example of opportunistic politics” and “a desperate attempt to save herself from the clutches of CBI”.
The meeting with the Prime Minister comes at a time when a number of TMC leaders in West Bengal, along with former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, are under CBI scanner in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “We all know the kind of language she (Banerjee) had used against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Lok Sabha elections and afterwards. She never had any regard for the federal structure and had even said she does not feel the need to respect Modiji as prime minister.”
“Now all of a sudden why and for what she is going to Delhi is an open secret. It also brings out her nature of an opportunistic politician, who can go to any extent to get her purpose served and forget it once the job is done,” he said.
However, the TMC termed the saffron party’s claims as baseless and said Banerjee is well within her rights to meet the Prime Minister to discuss developmental issues of the state. “The Bengal BJP leaders should stop making baseless claims. In a federal structure, a chief minister of a state has every right to meet the prime minister. The proposed meeting is related to developmental issues of the state,” a senior TMC leader said.