Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has rescheduled her North Bengal tour in view of the severe cyclonic storm Bulbul that has hit coastal districts of Bengal. Miss Banerjee has informed her party leaders in Cooch Behar that she would be reaching there on 18 November. She was supposed to arrive in Siliguri on 12 November and head for Cooch Behar to attend the Rash Mela there.
However, party leaders said they have no detailed information of her programme from 19 November and when exactly she would leave for Siliguri and then Kolkata.
Asked to comment, North Bengal Development Department Minister Rabindranath Ghosh, who came to his office in Uttarkanya today, said: “The chief minister’s programme has been rescheduled due to the several cyclonic storm Bulbul. The chief minister has decided to postpone her North Bengal visit. She has made an aerial survey of affected areas like Namkhana Bakkhali today. She would be coming to Cooch Behar on 18 November.”
“I have come to know that the chief minister would be visiting my district on 18 November and attend a party programme around 3.30 pm. She would be coming by flight from Kolkata to Bagdogra and to Cooch Behar by helicopter from Bagdogra. I don’t know about her programme in detail from 19 November,” the North Bengal Development Department Minister Rabindranath Ghosh said.
Party sources said that the chief minister Mamata Banerjee, after attending the party programme on 18 November, will also visit the Rash Mela in the evening.
“The chief minister may return to Kolkata via Siliguri on 19 November. We don’t have information on whether she would visit Uttarkanya,” sources added.
Notably, as per tradition, the Rash Mela was inaugurated by the district magistrate today. The fair will continue for the next 15 days.
Party leaders in Cooch Behar have been requesting the chief minister, after she came to power in Bengal, to visit Rash Mela. However, she has not been able to manage time, sources said. “Though the chief minister, for the very first time, had planned to visit the fair on 13 November, she had to postpone her tour because of the natural calamity,” the sources added.