KOLKATA: Embroiled in a war of words with the Centre over the amended citizenship law, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has agreed to share the stage with PM Narendra Modi at an event of Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) on Sunday.
The CM gave the nod after Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya visited Nabanna, the state secretariat, on Friday evening to invite her for the KPT’s 150th-anniversary celebration.
At the forefront of anti-CAA protests, Mamata has announced that her government would not allow the Act in Bengal. Trinamool leaders were unable to confirm whether Mamata would be present at Kolkata airport to receive the Prime Minister. They said a senior minister could receive Modi in such a situation.
While doubts prevail whether she will attend a dinner to be hosted by the Raj Bhavan in honour of Modi on Saturday night, there is a buzz that she may accept the invite of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar with whom she has often been on loggerheads. “Both our party and the BJP are hitting out at each other on CAA. The situation is fragile. There is no confirmation that the CM will attend the dinner,’’ conceded a senior TMC leader.
Ever since the BJP emerged as the principal opposition in Bengal after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Modi and Mamata have not shared stage at a government programme. The two leaders last were seen together in 2018 at the inaugural ceremony of Bangladesh Bhavan at Visva Bharati.
On his two-day visit, Modi will reach Kolkata on Saturday afternoon. He will attend a programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium apart from other events. A delegation of BJP leaders is likely to meet Modi for briefing him about the steps taken to counter Trinamool’s ‘misleading’ anti-CAA campaign.
Riverine route for Modi en route to Belur Math
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a riverine route to reach Belur Math on Saturday instead of roads due to the ongoing protests and blockades against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. A SPG team, which is responsible for the Prime Minister’s security, reviewed the Intelligence Bureau’s report and decided to change Modi’s route to Belur Math. The Prime Minister will travel by road from the airport, but an IAF helicopter will be kept standby in the likelihood of large-scale demonstrations on his route.
PM to visit four heritage buildings
in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ‘dedicate’ four renovated iconic buildings to the nation. This is a part of the Ministry of Culture’s plans to develop cultural spaces in the metropolitan cities. Currently, the focus is on Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Varanasi. The four heritage buildings are the Old Currency Building, the Belvedere House, the Metcalfe House and the Victoria Memorial Hall. The buildings will feature new exhibitions while curating the old galleries, the ministry said.