KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee meeting Union Minister Pyush Goel at new Howrah Secretariat sets political speculation of BJP-ruled Centre and TMC-ruled Bengal presumably waving Olive Branch at each other is gaining momentum.
Interestingly, Goel whose meeting with Banerjee went on for more than 40-minute, never spoke anything political which would have denoted or resurfaced old loss energies on differences, but he described the meeting as a courtesy call on BJP-ruled Centre’s behalf. Nor Goel who met state party leaders at state headquarters got provoked into repeating the allegations of political `vendetta’ being taken by TMC in post poll violence, often repeated by state and central BJP leaders!
He repeated “it was a courtesy call.’’ However, Mamata Banerjee who still maintains silence over BJP overtures to Governors MK Narayanan to quit, was learnt to have told Goel to look into the State’s financial dues on account of unsettled coal cess and other areas of assistance and Goel, known to be rather close to Prime Minister Narendra Mode, “assured Chief Minister that his ministry would look into the bottle-necks of Bengal problems.’’
While observers believe Goel also sought TMC backing in Rajya Sabha where BJP doesn’t enjoy majority and Mamata may have promised `something provided, Bengal’s interest is well looked after.
“For both if this has been the case, Bengal where economic stagnancy is accepted as normal, and development, not in Bharat Nirman sense, become politically a dirty word, might open up a new chapter,’’ said an eminent political commentator.
Incidentally, Goel met Chief Minister after state finance minister Amit Mitra met Arun Jaitely recently in Delhi.
In federal structure neither Centre nor a state could escape cooperation unless they are on either side led by irrational leaders, admitted a senior TMC leader on condition of anonymity.