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Updated: May 8, 2012 01:52 IST

U.S. keen on West Bengal as ‘partner State'

Shiv Sahay Singh
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a meeting at Writers Building in Kolkata on Monday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
The Hindu U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a meeting at Writers Building in Kolkata on Monday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that the United States was keen on investments in the State and it was ready to offer all kinds of help in the “changed political situation.” She was told that the U.S. was keen to look at West Bengal as a “partner State.”

The Chief Minister described her meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Writers' Building here as “constructive, creative and concrete.”

Ms. Banerjee pointed out that so far there had been no investments from the U.S. in the State owing to the political situation that prevailed.

Criticising attempts by certain quarters to make “political comments” on Ms. Clinton's visit, she said the visit has opened up opportunities to “rebuild the relationship” between the U.S. and West Bengal.

A press release issued by the Office of Public Affairs in the U.S. Consulate General here said Ms. Clinton enjoyed the “warm, vibrant and energetic discussions” with Ms. Banerjee.

The discussions centred on increasing “U.S. investments in West Bengal, including the retail sector, regional affairs, U.S.-India relations, and strong people-to-people connections,” the release said.

Ms. Clinton also expressed the hope that Kolkata would become an important hub in the new “Silk Road Strategy” to connect the countries of East, South and Central Asia, it added.

“For the first time after Independence, a U.S. Secretary of State with her team has come to West Bengal. It is a matter of pride to us. This is a big change. It has been proved now that West Bengal is an emerging investment destination,” Ms Banerjee told journalists after the nearly hour-long meeting with Ms Clinton.

Ms. Banerjee said that during the discussion, she informed Ms. Clinton of the problems faced by the State due to a debt burden of $ 40 million and the efforts made by the State government to overcome it.

A joint committee, under U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell and Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh, would look into the possibilities of new investment opportunities in the State. The areas being looked at were information technology, education, and health, as well as the upcoming deep-sea port in the State, Ms. Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister said she was “delighted” with Ms. Clinton's appreciation of her government since she took charge. “She appreciated the passion of our government in implementation of programmes in a mission mode.”

Mamta Didi has well projected Bengal and India to Hillary.She has wisely utilised the visit of Hillary for the conduct of Youth International Festival in connection with 150 th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. She rightly took the initiative to tie up between Kolkatta and Chicago.She has well chosen the gift of books to Hillary.
It is said that brain of India is in the heads of Bengalis!.Didi proved it right.Congratulation to her in projecting Bengal to US.

from:  B.Sundaram
Posted on: May 8, 2012 at 09:42 IST

Now it is exposed that US had a role in helping Mamtha to topple the left govt in West Bengal. capture Wall street will be the answer to this ugly deeds of America

from:  vasudevan.mu
Posted on: May 8, 2012 at 06:27 IST

Maybe Clinton can teach Didi to grow up and not to blow a fuse whenever someone publishes a funny cartoon about her.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: May 8, 2012 at 03:14 IST

The West Bengal Chief Minister,Ms Mamata Banerjee's reaction is like that of a School Headmistress expressing her happiness about everything having gone satisfactorily during inspection and getting laurels for performance from the "Inspector"of Schools. Now,the Chief Ministers of other States would have to await their turn for 'inspection' by US Secretary of State.Whether this exercise will be done routinely in due course of time or whether Chief Ministers need to hold up "passage of a Bill in Parliament" of strategic importance to US, remains to be seen. God alone knows, when we are going to shed our slavish mentality.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 19:48 IST

Hmmm, Ms Banerjee seems to have mastered the art of blackmailing. Amazing, that she managed to bring the US administration to bring down on its knees praying for her mercy. I don't care what she does to Bengal because they elected her, but she is holding the development of rest of India to ransom for her silly whims.

from:  Hemnath
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 19:16 IST

US is always ready to help any Davids who have thrashed the Goliath of
evil incarnation Communism. So why not give some 10 billion dollar aid
to Bengal? It will help the centre also as the Sword of Damocles will
be, temporarily at least, removed.

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 18:56 IST

Who is Hillary Clinton to talk about the past 34years? People of West Bengal elected them in a democratic mandate. Hillary came to lobby for american interests in West Bengal. From now on we shall see a silent Mamata who would allow FDI.

from:  Dr RKRAO REBBAPRAGADA
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 17:38 IST

Given Ms Bannerjee's formidable reputation, we want to hear these words from Ms Clinton (That Bengal has become a US-partner state!!)

from:  Sayan
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 17:18 IST

This is indeed a sad day. Mamta Banerjee seems to be lost in the maze after getting drunk on power. And, to the credit of Congress they have allowed to let WB walk on the way of becoming new state of United States. Indian Central Government is full of corrupt elements who are concentrating on filling up secret Bank a/c s and states have to go begging for fiscal support.
Next time Mamta won't stand in way of retail FDI.
When US eeconomy is still struggling India is a avenue to make profit. Who cares if Indian people would only sees India Rising and not live in it.

from:  Akshaya Chandan
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 16:19 IST

India must co-operate with Cuba in improving health facilities. Cuba has a better health system than the USA and is designed to serve the people. The USA corporations will move in to make their profits and the masses of people will be afraid to walk past the new super duper private hospitals. US health corporations are on the verge of taking over the NHS `market' in Britain, thanks to the british government which is the puppet of the USA.
Do we want this state of affairs in Bengal??

from:  Sohail Zahid
Posted on: May 7, 2012 at 14:41 IST
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