West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday ran into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wife Jashodaben at the Kolkata airport before flying to New Delhi to meet him.
Mamata and Jashodaben greeted each other and the West Bengal Chief Minister reportedly gifted the PM’S wife a sari during the brief encounter.
Jashodaben, a retired school teacher, was leaving Kolkata after visiting the Kalyaneswari temple at Asansol of West Burdwan district.
Jashodaben, who was on a two-day trip to Dhanbad in Jharkhand, arrived at the famous temple at 12.45 pm on Monday and spent half an hour. After offering puja, she went around the temple for some time before leaving.
“It was a chance meeting and they exchanged greetings. The chief minister also gifted her a sari,” a source close to the chief minister told news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, Mamata is scheduled to meet PM Modi on Wednesday evening in New Delhi. She is expected to take up issues like funds for her state.
The West Bengal CM has said that her meeting with PM Modi should be seen as a “courtesy call”.
Describing her trip to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “routine” and a “constitutional obligation”, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she would raise the issue of bank mergers, BSNL salary issues and disinvestment of PSUs like Air India.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mamata Banerjee wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 69th birthday.
Birthday greetings to Prime Minister @narendramodi ji
প্রধানমন্ত্রী নরেন্দ্র মোদিজী কে জন্মদিনের শুভেচ্ছা
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) September 17, 2019
The last time Mamata had met PM Modi was on May 25, 2018, at the Visva Bharati University Convocation at Shantiniketan.
Mamata had not even attended Modi’s swearing-in in May when he took over as the Prime Minister for a second term.
Meanwhile, taking a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said on Tuesday that she had sought the appointment with Narendra Modi as a “last-ditch bid” to save the city’s former police chief Rajeev Kumar.
Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy, her former right-hand man, claimed that Banerjee seeking an appointment with Modi is a victory for BJP.
Vijayvargiya claimed that Banerjee was aware that Kumar’s arrest would ensure that “half of her state cabinet end up in jail” in connection with the multi-crore Saradha deposit default scam.
Terming BJP’s claims as baseless, the TMC said Banerjee was well within her rights to meet the prime minister to discuss developmental issues of the state.
The CPI(M) and the Congress leadership said the proposed meeting between Modi and Banerjee is a part of “political match-fixing” that the TMC and BJP are indulging in in Bengal.
“We have been saying for a long time that TMC and BJP are playing out a fixed match in Bengal. Banerjee is going to meet the prime minister to ensure that CBI goes slow in the chit fund scam investigation. It is just a fixed political match both the parties are playing to fool the masses,” senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty has said.