The Centre on Wednesday denied that it had refused permission to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to visit Chicago in the United States for an event to mark the 125th anniversary of a historic speech by Swami Vivekananda, PTI reported. Banerjee on Tuesday claimed there was an “unholy conspiracy” to keep her away from the event.
“We did not receive any request for clearance regarding the visit of Mamata Banerjee to Chicago for the event,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “The reports about the denial of permission are, therefore, not true.”
Banerjee was invited to attend the August 26 event in Chicago, but got a letter on June 11 from the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, saying it was being called off, according to The Telegraph.
Speaking at an event to mark Vivekananda’s speech at Belur Math in Howrah on Tuesday, Banerjee said: “I wanted to go to Chicago. But fortunately or unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the hall where Swamiji [Vivekananda] delivered his address [at the World’s Parliament of Religions on September 11, 1893]. Behind this was an unholy conspiracy. Some people wanted to ensure that I couldn’t go.”
She added: “I was hurt by that incident. I am aware of everything, of the reasons shown to not let me go. Even the Ramakrishna Mission authorities were threatened.”
Belur Math near Kolkata is the global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.