New Delhi: Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Sunday dismissed Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) claims that PM Modi did not call Mamata Banerjee to inquire about Cyclone Fani updates. “Attention has been drawn to reports in a section of media,that TMC has expressed its displeasure at PM Modi speaking only to WB Governor, about the post-Fani situation in the state. TMC have claimed that the PM had called Odisha and not WB CM. The claim is incorrect,” PMO sources said today.
PMO sources said that two attempts were made by PM’s staff on Saturday morning to connect Modi to the West Bengal CM on phone. The sources further said first time PM’s staff were told that CM Mamata Banerjee is on tour and call will be returned. When the PM’s staff called West Bengal chief minister for the second time, they were again told by West Bengal CM’s office that Mamata is not in office and the call will be returned.
The PMO’s clarification comes a day after the West Bengal government attacked PM Modi for dialling governor Keshari Nath Tripathi instead of Mamata to inquire about the situation in the state in wake of cyclone Fani.
This is an attack on a federal structure and a deviation from the Constitution. By calling the Governor he has acted as leader of BJP and not as a Prime Minister. How can he deny the mandate of our people? Mamata Banerjee is the elected chief minister of Bengal. This is unfortunate.” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee had said.
Echoing similar sentiments, another senior TMC leader said,”We have no problem that PM called the governor to inquire about the ground level situation. But only Chief Minister and state government officials can give him the real picture at the ground level.”
“It only reflects that the Prime Minister doesn’t have any respect for the federal structure of this country. In a federal structure the PM should call the CM to enquire about the ground level situation. But just to play politics over this issue he decided not to call CM”, he added.
BJP and the TMC are locked in an intense political battle in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and the current round of bickering could be seen as a part of this.