New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on Wednesday meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, on Tuesday, was in home state Gujarat to mark his 69th birthday. The Chief Minister was among those who wished the Prime Minister on his big day, wishing him on Twitter in both English and Bengali.
Earlier on Tuesday, speaking to reporters at the Kolkata Airport before taking a flight to the national capital, she told the media that her meet with the Prime Minister was a ‘courtesy meet’ and a ‘constitutional obligation’ to work for the country.
She said, “I go to Delhi rarely. This is a routine work. I will take up with the Prime Minister issues like funds that are due to West Bengal, change in the state’s name, the merger of public sector banks, issues with Air India, BSNL, Railways. The employees in all these sectors are facing a lot of problems and they have nowhere to go but come to us.”
Wednesday’s meet will be her first with the Prime Minister since his re-election earlier this year with a resounding mandate. The TMC and the BJP fought a particularly acrimonious battle in West Bengal, with the saffron party emerging as the second-largest party in the state, winning 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats; the TMC, meanwhile, slumped from its 2014 tally of 34 to just 22.
The Chief Minister has also been a vocal critic of the Centre on many issues, most recently refusing to implement the Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019 in her state, calling it a ‘burden’ on the people. On the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list, which was recently published in West Bengal, she dared the Modi government, saying that it will not be able to ‘shut Bengal’s mouth as it did in Assam.’