Kolkata, May 29: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of humiliated her after a brief meeting with PM Modi over the devastation caused by Cyclone Yaas took a controversial turn.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government a day after a face-off over a meeting to review the damage from Cyclone Yaas, accusing his office of feeding “fake, one-sided, partisan news” to the media.
The central government as well as several senior ministers had accused Mamata of skipping the meeting and making PM Modi wait.
Addressing the controversy, Mamata today said she felt insulted as BJP leaders and the state governor were called for the cyclone review meeting which was meant to be between her and the Prime Minister.
Here are some details of CM Mamata Banerjee’s statement:
• Union government targeted me by giving out selective news. News that was one-sided and there was no way of finding out what the whole story is. So, I decided to hold this press briefing to let you know what all happened.
• I had plans to visit cyclone-hit areas. I had to travel to Sagar and Digha to see the damage caused due to Cyclone Yaas. All my scheduled were ready, then suddenly we get a call that Prime Minister wants to visit Bengal to assess the situation after the cyclone. So, I have to plan accordingly.
• We were made to wait for 20 minutes and were told that the PM’s helicopter will land there, so we waited patiently. By the time were reached the place where the PM-Chief Minister meeting was to be held, we found out that the PM had already arrived there some time ago and the meeting has started.
• We were asked to wait outside, told that there will be no entry at the moment because a meeting is going on. We waited patiently for a while. Then, when we asked again, we were told that no one can enter for the next hour.
• Then someone told us that the meeting has moved to a conference hall, so the Chief Secretary and I decided to go there. When we reached there, we saw the PM was in a meeting with the governor, central leaders, and even some MLAs of the opposition party.
• This was clearly against the brief. It was supposed to be only a PM-Chief Minister meeting. So we decided to submit our report to the PM and then with the Prime Minister’s permission we went to Digha. I sought the Prime Minister’s permission three times. I said, ‘Sir, with your kind permission, may I please leave? We need to go to Digha for assessment and the weather is also not too good.”
• There were some vacant seats, but there was no need to sit as we were leaving for Digha. But after that, we saw that a photo has been given to the press of vacant seats. That is not done.
• Every time the central government targets our government like this. When the PM reviewed in Gujarat, Odisha, other states, opposition party members weren’t present. But in Bengal, opposition leaders were present. Every time you come here and disturb the functioning of our government.
• Why do you humiliate us? Why do you target us? Why do you disturb us? Only because you cannot digest the fact that you lost the election in Bengal? If the PM tells me to touch his feet in return for his help to Bengal, I am willing to do even that for the people of Bengal and the betterment of Bengal, but please do not play these dirty political games. Do not punish Bengal like this. Do not insult and humiliate the Chief Secretary, who is working hard.
• I appeal to the Central Government to take back this letter calling back the Chief Secretary. Why are you targeting him? By doing this you are insulting all Chief Secretaries across the nation – in all states. Do you think the IAS, IPS, and other civil services do not have a lobby? Do not insult or challenge them. They work very hard.