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Modi-Mamata meet: “constitutional responsibility”, says West Bengal CM

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 11, 2020 Published on January 11, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee during a meeting in Kolkata on Saturday. - PTI

Banerjee pointed out that she even registered her protest against the CAA, NRC, NPR with the Prime Minister.

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, dubbed her meeting with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as her “Constitutional responsibility” and a courtesy move. The meeting lasted for around 14 minutes at the Raj Bhavan. 

This comes even as she faced immense flak from Opposition parties foe boycotting a Congress-led all party meeting in Delhi on CAA and NRC. “It is my constitutional responsibility and also a courtesy,” Banerjee told reporters after the meeting. 

The Trinamool Congress also issues a statement on Twitter where they called it a “government to government meeting” and was not to be read “politically”. The Prime Minister is here in Kolkata on a two-day visit and will be attending several official programs. 

Opposition parties in Bengal, Left and Congress, have been up-in-arms over the PM’s visit and have taken to street protests. Black flags, burning effigies and road blockades have been held in several places across the city. “Go back Modi” slogans were also raised.

The Trinamool Congress, on the other hand, has started a dharna in the heart of the city. Even as protests raged across the state, the Centre has already notified the amendments to the Citizenship Act thereby making it a law. 

In view of these protests in the city, the PM was asked to take a chopper from the airport to the nearest possible helipad; rather than travelling by road. 

Raised issues relating to State

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee points out that during her meeting she raised issues relating to finances and “State’s dues from the Centre”. 

According to her, these dues are to the tune of ₹ 38000 crore and include payments due for carrying out restoration work post the ‘Cyclone Bulbul’ and other dues (including GST dues). 

“Our net dues from the Centre is to the tune of ₹38000 and this is after servicing our loans and interests. The Prime Minister, who is our guest here in the State, said he will look into it,” Banerjee told reporters. Pictures were shared on social media where Banerjee was seen carrying papers and files. 

Withdraw CAA 

Banerjee pointed out that she even registered her protest against the CAA, NRC, NPR with the Prime Minister. An appeal was also made to reconsider and withdraw the amended Citizenship Act. “I have told the PM that we in West Bengal are against the CAA, NRC and NPR. We are, in fact, against any religion based citizenship,” she said. 

“I have told the Prime Minister to withdraw this Act,”, Banerjee added while pointing out that she will be spearheading a dharna by the student wing of her party. 

The West Bengal CM’s Trinamool Congress has been amongst the most vocal and fiercest critics of the CAA and NRC. Banerjee has already said her anti-CAA protests will continue “indefinitely” till the Act is withdrawn. 

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Published on January 11, 2020
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