West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Wednesday. This was the first meeting between the West Bengal chief minister and the prime minister after the Assembly elections in the state, which the Trinamool Congress had won.
Banerjee said that she demanded that the Centre should withdraw its decision to extend the Border Security Force’s jurisdiction to 50 km from the international boundary in the state, ANI reported.
The Border Security Force’s area of operation in West Bengal was earlier up to 15 kilometres from the international border.
The chief minister told reporters after the meeting that the country’s federal structure is important and must be strengthened. “We deeply respect all institutions and Central agencies,” the TMC said on Twitter. “In the coming days, we look forward to better cooperation between the States and Centre in order to protect the interests of our people.”
Banerjee, who is also the chief of the Trinamool Congress, said on Wednesday that she discussed several matters related to West Bengal during the meeting with the prime minister.
The chief minister said that the Centre owes the West Bengal government dues of Rs 96,000 crore and urged Modi to clear them, The Hindu reported.
The West Bengal chief minister also said that she has invited Modi to inaugurate the Bengal Global Business Summit, which is slated to be held from April 20 to 22, The Print reported. She added that the prime minister has accepted the invitation.
Banerjee is on a four-day visit to Delhi.
The chief minister had earlier said that she would discuss the Centre’s allocation of funds for West Bengal during the meeting with Modi.
Earlier, reports had said that Banerjee may meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi during her visit to Delhi. However, the two leaders did not met on Wednesday.
When asked, the West Bengal chief minister said that there was no meeting scheduled with Gandhi, as Congress leaders were “busy with Punjab polls”, according to NDTV.
“Why should we meet Sonia every time?” Banerjee said. “It is not constitutionally mandated.”
She also said that the Trinamool Congress was willing to help the Samajwadi Party in next year’s Uttar Pradesh elections, ANI reported.
Banerjee added that she will visit Mumbai on November 30.
“I will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and [Nationalist Congress Party chief] Sharad Pawar ji during my visit to Mumbai between November 30 and December 1,” she said.
Mamata Banerjee meets Subramanian Swamy
Earlier on Wednesday, Banerjee met BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in the national Capital.
Swamy said that he considers the Trinamool Congress chief to be similar to politicians like Jayprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Rajiv Gandhi, Chandrashekhar and PV Narasimha Rao. He said that these leaders “meant what they said and said what they meant”.
Swamy added that this was a rare quality in Indian politics.