“Chief Minister” Mamata Banerjee meets “Prime Minister” Narendra Modi
After a more than a year Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on 18th September 2019. Last time when the duo met was on 25th May 2018 in Shantiniketan at a ceremony at Viswa Bharti University. After that both the leaders have had one of the bitterest political rivalry. Mamata Banerjee had even refused to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony when he took over the reins for the second time in May 2019.
“I don’t consider him the country’s PM, hence I didn’t sit for the meeting, I don’t want to be seen with him on the same platform. I will speak to the next PM. We can take care of cyclone damage by ourselves. We don’t need Centre’s help ahead of polls,” these were the words of Mamata Banerjee when Cyclone Feni struck the state of West Bengal and Modi called upon her for any assistance from centre.
Mamata vs Modi
Mamata Banerjee has been the most vocal against Prime Minister Modi. She had always criticised Modi and his government on every decision. Moreover, the Lok Sabha 2019 results were enough for her to cross any barrier in demeaning the Prime Minister. Her dream to become India’s next Prime Minister got shattered after 2019 Lok Sabha result. Adding up to her miseries, BJP created a dent in her Citadel by winning 18 Lok Sabha seats, up from 2 in 2014. Mamata Banerjee realises that upcoming Assembly Election of 2021 is not going to be easy for her and her party, Trinamool Congress in Bengal.
After meeting Prime Minister Modi, Mamata Banerjee is expected to meet Home Minister Amit Shah, today, 19th September, 2019. She termed the meeting with PM Modi to be fruitful. According to her she raised the issue of renaming West Bengal to Bangla and also urged the center to release the funds that it was holding back. Banerjee also invited Modi to Bengal after the Durga Puja celebrations gets over to inaugurate the second largest coal block “Deocha Pachami” allotted by the Center in Birbhum district.
Why the Change of Heart?
The Chief Ministers of every state do meet up Prime Minister to express the concerns relating to their respective state. However, meeting of Mamata Banerjee with Modi has become the talk of the town. The arrest of P Chidambaram and them D K Shivakumar has given oppositions in India sleepless nights. If the rumors are to believed, Mamata Banerjee meeting with PM Modi was her desperate attempt to save Rajeev Kumar. Several TMC leaders and former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar have come under the CBI scanner in connection with the Saradha ponzi scam. BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed that Banerjee was aware that Rajeev Kumar’s arrest would ensure that “half of her state cabinet end up in jail” in connection with the multi-crore Saradha deposit default scam. Whatever may be the reason, Mamata Banerjee knows that keeping a good relation with Centre was only way to save herself and her ministers from the clutches of CBI.
The CPI(M) and Congress leaders termed the meeting of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be a “fixed match”. Banerjee meeting the prime minister was to ensure that CBI goes slow in the chit fund scam investigation. However, it must be remembered that apart from the Chit fund case, Mamata Banerjee and her government is also battling the issue of NRC. After Assam NRC, many are of the opinion that Central government may implement NRC in Bengal too. Speaking to media on the issue of NRC, Mamata Banejee said, “You are making a mistake. NRC is just for Assam, it has got nothing to do with us, there is no proposal or suggestion for implementing it anywhere else.”