Mamata Banerjee meets PM Narendra Modi in Delhi but gives Sonia Gandhi a miss


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi but skipped meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, triggering speculation about her future political moves. “Why should we meet Sonia every time? It is not constitutionally mandated,” the Trinamool supremo quipped when asked about not calling on the Congress chief. 

Talking to reporters, Mamata said she invited Modi to inaugurate the Bengal Global Summit (BGS) in Kolkata in April next year and that the PM accepted the invite, adding that political differences should not impact Centre-state ties. During the meeting with the PM, she raised the issues of BSF’s territorial jurisdiction, central debts to states, political violence in Tripura, and the crisis faced by jute industry in West Bengal. “I have requested the Prime Minister to inaugurate BGS.

We are not sure how many countries will participate given the Covid situation, but if the Centre and state work together it will send a strong message and show the right direction to industry,” she added. 
She also demanded the BSF’s territorial jurisdiction be withdrawn. “Protecting the federal structure of our country should be of prime importance. We deeply respect all institutions and Central agencies. In the coming days, we look forward to better cooperation between the States and Centre in order to protect the interests of our people,” she said.

Notably, Mamata did not meet any opposition party leaders, not even Sonia, during her visit to the national capital, saying they are all “busy with Punjab elections”.  Earlier in the day, she met BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, fuelling speculation that he might join the TMC. Both the leaders rejected the notion. 

12 Meghalaya Congress MLAs join Trinamool: Reports 
Twelve out of the 17 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya, including former CM Mukul Sangma, have reportedly joined the Trinamool Congress, though there is no official confirmation yet. The switchover could deal a body blow to the Congress which is battling infighting in the state

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