May 6, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday blamed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for refusing to participate in a review meeting with him on Cyclone Fani.
PM Modi said that he tried to get in touch with Mamata Banerjee but her “arrogance” came in the way.
“Speedbreaker didi has tried to play politics even on Cyclone Fani. I tried to get in touch with Mamata didi but her arrogance is such that she refused to talk to me, I tried again but she did not get in touch,” he said.
Hitting back strongly, Mamata Banerjee claimed that she had gone to meet PM Modi twice when the state was ravaged by floods last time, but the Centre offered no aide.
“I want to ask him where was he when people in these areas were in trouble…backward areas like Lalgarh…how many times have you come here?” Banerjee said.
Mamata also indicated that PM Modi sent a proposal for a review meeting after Cyclone Fani as the Lok Sabha polls are underway.
“Now during polls you come…last time during floods I went twice to meet you and demanded assistance and you did not give a penny,” Mamata said.
‘Don’t need you’
Mamata Banerjee also made it very clear to PM Modi that the TMC government in West Bengal is capable of handling such situations without any help.
“Now whatever has happened the state govt is capable of handling it ourselves we don’t need you,” she said. “You want to conduct meeting without CM for a photo op?” Mamata questioned.
Calling Modi an “expiry PM”, Mamata indicated that she has no intentions of meeting him and even told him to not interfere in state matters.
A war of words had earlier broken out between the Centre and Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal over Cyclone Fani. It worsened after Mamata Banerjee refused to conduct a joint review meeting with the Prime Minister in the backdrop of Cyclone Fani.
PM Modi, who reviewed the situation in Odisha along with state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday, expressed the desire to conduct a similar review with Mamata Banerjee.
However, PMO sources informed that the Mamata-led state government has denied the proposal as its officials are busy with election duty.
But that does not seem to be the only reason behind: TMC was also upset when it found that PM Modi had personally called Odisha CM Patnaik but did not call Mamata Banerjee to discuss the situation in West Bengal.
The TMC further claimed that PM Modi only spoke with West Bengal governor Kesari Nath Tripathy instead of speaking directly with Mamata Banerjee. The Centre, however, has rubbished such claims.
“Two attempts were made by the prime minister’s staff to connect Modi with Banerjee over the phone. On both occasions, they were told that the call would be returned. On one occasion they were told that the CM is on tour,” an official told earlier.