Mamata Banerjee Meets PM Narendra Modi
NEW DELHI: Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of Bengal, today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time since he took power in May.Ms Banerjee said she had asked the prime minister to waive Bengal’s debts but sources say she got no assurance from him.
“The huge debt burden left on us, as a legacy of the previous Government, has made West Bengal No.1 debt-stressed State in the country,” Ms Banerjee tweeted after the meeting.
Barring an accidental encounter at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in December, Ms Banerjee has avoided PM Modi in the past 10 months, not even sending a representative to the first meeting in February of the Niti Aayog, which has replaced the Planning Commission.
Her meeting with PM Modi was seen as significant in the middle of the government’s last-ditch attempts to bring the opposition on board on its controversial land bill, which it wants to push in Parliament this week.
But Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress remained firmly opposed to the bill, which the opposition says is anti-farmer.”We are against the forceful land acquisition bill,” said Ms Banerjee, whose spectacular rise to power in Bengal was credited to her agitation against land acquisition in Singur and Nandigram.
“Your government is by the corporate, of the corporate, for the Corporate,” shouted her party lawmaker Kalyan Banerjee in the Lok Sabha.Sources say the government is reaching out to smaller parties in a bid to splinter opposition unity and isolate the Congress, which said today that it would not back any changes to its 2013 Land Act.