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Posted at: Sep 18, 2019, 6:08 PM; last updated: Sep 18, 2019, 10:49 PM (IST)

Mamata meets PM Modi; raises issue of state’s renaming, invites him to Bengal

Mamata meets PM Modi; raises issue of state’s renaming, invites him to Bengal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in New Delhi, Wednesday, September 18, 2019. Twitter/PTI photo

New Delhi, September 18

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday but the NRC process did not figure during their discussion which was mostly on developmental issues.

The Trinamool Congress chief, who is opposed to implementation of a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in her state, later said there was no provision of this process of preparing a list of genuine citizens being extended to West Bengal.

She also raised the issue of the state’s renaming and invited Modi to Bengal.          

The meeting at the prime minister’s residence lasted for about half an hour.

Banerjee said the discussion was not political but focused on developmental issues of the state.

She met the prime minister for the first time after he won a second term. She did not turn up for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony and skipped a meeting of the Niti Aayog.

Talking to reporters later, she said, “Haven’t spoken about NRC with the PM. NRC is part of the Assam Accord, hence there is no provision of its implementation all over the country or in West Bengal. Neither there is any proposal, nor will it ever be done in Bengal.”

Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to the national capital, also said she discussed issues like BSNL, Defence Ordnance Factory, Railway and Coal with Modi.

“We submitted a lot of documents to substantiate the requests we made. Bengal’s GDP is 12.8, which is highest across the country. We showed him how Bengal is progressing despite huge debt burden. We also gave him documents to highlight our achievements in the field of economy and infrastructure,” she said.

Banerjee also said she raised the issue of renaming West Bengal and added that Modi was not averse to the idea.          

“Renaming Bengal had been our prime agenda hence we have proposed it keeping Bangla in mind. The prime minister has assured all help. I have told him that the sentiments of the people of Bengal are associated with the issue and we are open to suggestions from the Centre,” she said.

The West Bengal Assembly has passed a resolution to rename the state as Bangla.

Banerjee has also invited Modi after Navaratra and Durga Puja to inaugurate Deocha Pachami, the second largest coal block in the world which will see an investment of Rs 12,000 crore.

“We have submitted a security of Rs 50,000 crore for this. All agreements are done. I have invited him to inaugurate it after Navaratri and Durga Puja whenever he has time,” she said.

She also said that they spoke a “little” on the political situation in general.

“However, this was a government to government meeting, nothing political. When I come to Delhi I always meet the home minister. If he gives me time, I will meet him tomorrow,” Banerjee said.

The Prime Minister’s Office had earlier tweeted pictures of the two leaders at the official residence of Modi. Banerjee was seen presenting a bouquet to the prime minister. — PTI

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