Express News Service
KOLKATA: Centre has denied permission to Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to participate in the world peace conference to be held in Italy in October. The CM on Saturday said the denial was out of “jealousy”.
While addressing a rally in Bhowanipore, from where she is contesting in the by-election, Mamata said she was invited as a representative from Asia to visit Italy but the BJP-led central government stopped her from going to that country.
“They (BJP) talk about peace. But I have been barred from participating in a peace conference. I was invited as a representative from Asia. But the Centre denied permission citing political grounds and saying it wasn’t right for the CM to attend this programme. It is total jealousy,” said Mamata at a rally at Shakespeare Sarani in Bhowanipore.
The CM slammed the saffron camp labelling it as “Talibani BJP”. Urging the electorates to defeat BJP in the by-election, she said, “You will not be able to stop me. Bhowanipore will show the path to derail the BJP-led central government and rest of the country will follow it. Talibani BJP cannot run India.”
The Union Ministry of External Affairs denied Mamata permission to attend the event in Italy as the event is not commensurate in status for participation by the chief minister of a state.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit, Mamata said she was not eager to visit foreign countries. “You (Modi) are visiting a foreign country. I have no issue regarding it because a PM has to visit overseas countries for the sake of the country’s interest. But why my visit to Italy has been barred? You are totally jealous,” she asked.
Hitting out at BJP’s Hindutva rhetoric, Mamata said the peace conference will be attended by representatives from Muslim and Christian communities. “The BJP talks about Hindutva and seek votes. I would have been the face of the Hindu community in the peace conference. But they did not allow me to participate in the event,” she asked.
Earlier, the Italian government had requested Mamata not to come with any delegates. She then proposed clearance for the industry delegation and requested the Centre for permission which has been denied.