According to Raj Bhavan sources, 9 pm has been “reserved for a meeting”, which fuelled the prospect of the CM-PM meeting.
Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will, despite a lot of speculation over the past few days, share the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in the city during his two-day official visit to the state starting Saturday. Before that, she is also likely to meet the PM for a one-to-one discussion at Raj Bhavan on Saturday evening, when they might discuss several issues, including the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
This dramatic development came after Union minister of state for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, who came to the city on Friday, visited the Trinamul Congress chief at the state secretariat Nabanna in the afternoon and personally requested her to attend the 150th year celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust, that Mr Modi will inaugurate at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Sunday morning. There was some uncertainty till the morning over her presence at the event although she was invited by the Kolkata Port Trust.
After Mr Mandaviya’s plea, a communication was sent from Nabanna to the KoPT confirming the CM’s attendance at the event, sources said. The Union minister also met West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan, where the PM will stay. Mr Dhankhar, who has been critical of Ms Banerjee’s rule, will also be present at the KoPT event. But all eyes will be on the 9 pm meeting on Saturday when Ms Banerjee is likely to discuss national and state issues at the closed-door meeting with Mr Modi.
Sources said it was the CM who has aparently sought the appointment with the PM at Raj Bhavan where Mr Modi will return after inaugurating four renovated heritage landmarks in the heart of the city — the Old Currency Building, Belvedere House, Metcalfe House and Victoria Memorial Hall, launching light and sound show at Millenium Park and visiting Belur Math after his arrival at Kolkata Airport in the afternoon.
According to Raj Bhavan sources, 9 pm has been “reserved for a meeting”, which fuelled the prospect of the CM-PM meeting. The last time Ms Banerjee met Mr Modi was in New Delhi in September within a few days of a Central Bureau of Investigation team’s visit to Nabanna in its hunt for senior IPS officer Rajeev Kumar for his suspected role in tampering with evidence in the Saradha chit fund scam.
But this time the significance of their possible meeting has been different in view of the Trinamul Congress chief’s tirade against the Centre over the CAA and NRC across the state, although she has recused herself from the anti-CAA meeting called by the Congress for the Opposition parties in New Delhi on Monday. Meanwhile, various Left outfits plan to hold demonstrations against Mr Modi’s visit on the CAA and NRC issues.