Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mamata in Delhi ‘to plead’ for Bengal


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NEW DELHI: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in the capital on Tuesday night and is expected to press the Centre for financial assistance to her cash-strapped government.

“Going to plead for Bengal,” Banerjee, who is likley to meet several Union Ministers and central leaders here on Wednesday, replied cryptically before leaving for the airport in Kolkata.

The visit also comes in the backdrop of strain in ties between her Trinamool Congress and Congress, with Banerjee threatening to walkout of the UPA after petrol prices were raised. But the party later clarified that it would pull out if there was a further hike. Banerjee is sore with Congress over “inadequate” help from the Centre to tide over the huge debt bequeathed to her by the erstwhile Left Front government. Banerjee had sought a special financial package of Rs 1,900 crores from the Centre soon after coming to power in the state. She had last month met the PM and sought a moratorium for at least three years on repayment of loan by the state, keeping in view its financial condition.

Banerjee on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party, in which Sudip Bandopadhyay was elected the chief of the Lok Sabha Parliamentary Party. Kalyan Banerjee will be the chief whip.

The Trinamool Congress chief was quick to underscore that her party, the second largest constituent of the UPA, was not dependent on the Congress in the state, while her ally depended on her party at the national level. (PTI)


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