he Centre on Thursday said it did not deny permission to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to visit Chicago on the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech.

“We did not receive any request for clarification regarding the visit of Ms Mamata Banerjee to Chicago for any event. Reports about the denial of permission are, therefore, not true,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in response to media queries.

Banerjee had on Tuesday alleged that “evil forces” threatened the Ramakrishna Mission, forcing it to cancel her trip to Chicago.

“I think some evil forces had hatched a conspiracy. They did not want Ramakrishna Mission to organise the programme there. They also didn’t want us, people of Bengal, to attend it. It pained me and saddened me a lot,” Banerjee said while speaking at the Ramakrishna Mission’s global headquarters Belur Math in Howrah district.

The Ramakrishna Mission had invited Banerjee to be the chief guest at the event which was to be held on August 26 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Banerjee had to call off her scheduled trip after the organisers wrote to her that the event had been cancelled due to “unforeseen difficulties” and “demise of a monk”.