Mamata invites PM to next year’s Bengal business summit
Times of India | 25 November 2021
NEW DELHI: CM Mamata Banerjee met PM Narendra Modi in Delhi on Wednesday, raising a host of contentious administrative and political issues but also inviting Modi to next year’s Bengal Global Business Summit while making it clear that Trinamool-BJP politics should not be allowed to impact Centre-state relations and Bengal’s development.
Banerjee demanded that the Centre roll back the BSF’s increased area of jurisdiction along the India-Bangladesh border and asked the PM to “see to it” that there was no recurrence of the violence in Tripura. But, significantly, she also invited him to inaugurate the BGBS next April and told him that “whatever differences you and I may have politically should not impact our state’s relation with the Centre”. The Centre’s presence at the business summit would send out a strong message to revive a Covid-hit economy, she said, adding: “The PM has accepted our invite.”
“Political differences will remain. Your party has a different political ideology. Our party has a different political ideology,” Banerjee told Modi. “But this should not impact our state’s relation with the Centre. If the state develops, the Centre develops. If all departments of the Centre and state can do this together, it will show a path for the future,” she said, adding that she would leave for Mumbai on November 30 to attend a business conclave.
Banerjee, however, iterated the demand to roll back the BSF’s jurisdiction from 50 to 15km along the India-Bangladesh border in Bengal. “India has a federal structure. This should not be bulldozed. The BSF is not our enemy, we respect the force like all (central) agencies. But giving more power to the BSF creates a confrontation because law and order is a state subject,” she said.