Kolkata

Mamata likely to meet Modi in Kolkata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo  

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The likely meeting of the Chief Minister and Prime Minister assumes significance amidst widespread CAA protests.

Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the State Secretariat and extended her an invitation to attend the sesquicentenary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust ( KoPT) on Sunday, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to be present.

The development has triggered the strong possibility of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister sharing the dais at the event.

Sources in the State secretariat said Ms. Banerjee had accepted the invitation and was likely to participate in the event.

The Prime Minister will arrive in the city on Saturday afternoon and attend an event organized by the Ministry of Culture at the Currency Building in Dalhousie, followed by the inauguration of a light and sound show on the Howrah Bridge at Millenium Park and later a visit to the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission at Belur in Howrah district. 

Speculation is rife that the Chief Minister can meet the Prime Minister at the Raj Bhawan on Saturday evening itself. According to sources a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders may be organised on the sidelines of a dinner hosted by the Raj Bhawan where the Prime Minister is staying.

 The likely meeting of the Chief Minister and Prime Minister assumes significance amidst widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act led by the Chief Minister herself. Ms Banerjee, however, has refused to participate in the anti-CAA protests by Opposition in New Delhi on January 13. 

Meanwhile elaborate security arrangements have been made considering Prime Minister’s visit as here is apprehension among security agencies that protesters may try to protest in front of the Prime Minister convoy. 

The route of Prime Minister’s convoy is being sanitized and on Friday police put barricades near Kaikhali near Airport where protesters are likely to gather. Another protests is planned at Esplanade from where the protesters are likely to march to the Raj Bhawan.

 It is still not clear whether the Prime Minister will travel by road or take the ariel route. On Friday morning security officials also tried to take a stock of the riverine route at Millennium park from where the Prime Minister could take the a vessel to Belur, avoiding the road travel of about 9 km. “There will be strong deployment of police since saturday morning. We will keep of watch for any flash protests along the route of Prime Minister’s convoy,” a senior police official said. 

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:55:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/mamata-likely-to-meet-modi-in-kolkata/article30538146.ece

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