KOLKATA: Days after cancellation of her visit to Communist China, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's planned visit to Chicago in the United States to attend the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's historic speech at the Parliament of World Religions also stands cancelled. The visit was cancelled by the organisers Ramkrishna Mission's Vivekananda Vedanta Society citing 'unforeseen difficulties' leading to speculations that the visit might have been deliberately cancelled to draw all attention to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is visiting Chicago on the anniversary celebrations on August 26.
In a letter sent to the Chief Minister's Office on June 11, Vivekananda Vedanta Society president Swami Ishtamananda wrote: "We are sorry to inform you that due to the sudden demise of Swami Abhiramananda, Assistant General Secretary, Trustee of Ramakrishna Mission and member of the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission, as well as unforeseen difficulties, we have had to cancel the August 26 programme."
However, doubts are being raised how the death of Swami Abhiramananda in Kolkata on June 8 would affect the visit of Trinamool Congress supremo two-and-half months later. Sources revealed that a 'Hindu organisation' of NRI Indians in Chicago had even threatened Ramkrishna Mission and Vivekananda Vedanta Society to hold demonstrations against the West Bengal Chief Minister right from the airport if she was invited to the 125th anniversary of the historic speech.
Meanwhile, after cancellation of the foreign tours, the West Bengal Chief Minister has decided to focus on bolstering the party's organisational strength in areas where the ruling party performed poorly against BJP. Accordingly, the TMC supremo has herself taken over the reins of Jhargram district's TMC where BJP swept majority of the Gram Panchayats. Nearly all the block TMC presidents were removed from their posts after the loss. She will also hold district administrative review meetings after a gap of nearly three months to keep a track of developmental projects in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections starting with Purba Medinipur on Tuesday.