New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, at her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi last week, raised a host of Centre-state administrative and political issues and also invited him to inaugurate next year’s Bengal Global Business Summit, which he has “accepted”.
After the meeting, the Trinamool Congress chief told reporters that she asked the PM to withdraw the order on extending the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in border states since “it would disturb the local law and order situation within the state due to confrontations between central and state law and order agencies”.
“We are not against BSF or central agencies, but it is a question of federalism… the state’s interest must be kept in mind. If you have to secure the border, state will help the Centre with additional forces… There should be a meeting and the order should be revoked,” Mamata told the Prime Minister. Mamata said she raised the issue of violence in Tripura with the PM and urged him to “see to it” that such incidents do not happen.
When asked about the farmers’ protests, the TMC chief said she was with them on the MSP (minimum support price) issue. “I want a legislation on MSP to be passed,” she said. Mamata said she would be working with regional parties to take on BJP in the upcoming state elections and would be happy to help as a campaigner for “friendly parties like Samajawadi Party” in Uttar Pradesh. “In Goa, our party is already there, in other states I will be going whenever my party decides,” she added.
Mamata said that she would be in Mumbai to attend an industry summit on December 1, during which she “will meet Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackaray-ji and Sharad Pawar-ji”. She also raised the issue of the Centre’s dues to her state, which stands at £9.66 billion. The PM has assured he will look into this, she said.
The West Bengal chief minister was on a four-day visit to New Delhi ahead of the Winter Session of the Parliament. During her visit, she met several politicians, including BJP's Subramanian Swamy who has been critical of the party leadership on various issues. She also inducted former Congress leaders Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar in an attempt to increase Trinamool's national footprint.
On TMC's involvement in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Mamata said that her party is ready to extend help to Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav if he needs it. “If Akhilesh needs our help, then we are ready to extend help,” she said as the SP chief is moving swiftly to stitch pre-poll alliances to make a comeback in the state.