NATIONAL

Lalu Prasad calls on Mamata

KOLKATA: The Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad, today made an unscheduled visit to the residence of the Trinamool Congress leader, Mamata Banerjee, and held talks with her for nearly 40 minutes.

Though Trinamool Congress sources described it as a "courtesy call" by Mr. Prasad, certain pending issues relating to the Railways were understood to have figured at the meeting.

Ms. Banerjee, a former Railway Minister, had threatened to resist any move to evict about 20,000 people from the Railway land at Lake Gardens here without a rehabilitation plan for them.

In her proposal, she said the encroachers could be rehabilitated on Railway land near Jadavpur and Bracebridge which would involve an expenditure of Rs 5 crores.

On the other hand, observing that the eviction was a "fait accompli" for squatters on Railway land adjacent to the Rabindra Sarobar Lake here, the Calcutta High Court on April 11 directed the authorities to immediately begin the process of removing them.

The sources said Mr. Prasad evinced keen interest in the paintings of Ms. Banerjee which were displayed in the room.

She also presented the Minister with a picture of goddess Kali.

Mr. Prasad was here in connection with a National Railway Week function. — PTI

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