Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will leave for Odisha tomorrow to attend the Eastern Zonal Council (EZC) meeting which will be chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah on 28 February in Bhubaneswar. Miss Banerjee would leave tomorrow evening and visit the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri on Wednesday.

On the next day, she would hold a meeting with Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik. On 28 February, she would attend the EZC meeting that is aimed at improving cooperation and coordination among states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand. Miss Banerjee had last attended the EZC meeting in Kolkata in 2018 when Mr Rajnath Singh was the Union home minister.

The meeting between Miss Banerjee and Mr Shah assumes significance in the backdrop of the former’s opposition against NRC and CAA. Again, the meeting is also important as Miss Banerjee had kept away from attending Centre’s meetings on earlier occasions. “She wants to send a signal that she wants to cooperate with the Centre on developmental issues,” said a source. In May 2019, she did not attend the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review cyclone Fani.