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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Modi to Banerjee: ‘Here for another purpose, will talk CAA in Delhi’

After meeting the prime minister at Raj Bhavan, the West Bengal chief minister said she had told the prime minister that her state government was against the CAA, NRC and NPR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday evening in Kolkata. The prime minister is in Kolkata to participate in the 150th-anniversary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust.

After meeting Modi at Raj Bhavan, Banerjee said that she told the prime minister that her state government was against the CAA, NRC and NPR. “I asked the prime minister to withdraw the CAA, NPR and NRC. West Bengal is against it,” the chief minister said.

Responding to this, the prime minister said that he was in Kolkata to attend some other event. “When we meet in Delhi, we will talk in Delhi on this issue,” he told the chief minister.

Modi asked Banerjee to come to Delhi. After meeting him, the chief minister took part in a sit-in demonstration of TMC students against the CAA in Kolkata.

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Kolkata on Saturday on a two-day tour. He will inaugurate the exhibition and art galleries at the Old Currency Building. In the evening, at the Millennium Park, he will inaugurate the interactive light and sound show of Rabindra Setu known as Howrah Bridge. He would later go to Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission.

Earlier, the prime minister reached Kolkata by a special IAF aircraft at Kolkata’s Dum Dum Airport. His plane landed here at 3.33 AM on Saturday. From there, he reached the Race Course by a chopper and then headed to the Raj Bhavan, where he met with the chief minister.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankar along with West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim and BJP MP Arjun Singh and others from Barrackpore arrived at the airport to greet the prime minister.

Modi has reached Kolkata amidst a political turmoil over the CAA and NRC. This is his second Kolkata visit after becoming prime minister for the second time. The prime minister is scheduled to attend a number of events, including attending the 150th-anniversary celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust here at the Netaji Indoor Stadium at 11 AM on Sunday.

According to the initial plan, the prime minister was to reach the airport at 5 PM, but the schedule was changed at the last moment. From the Raj Bhavan, he reached the Currency Building located at BBD Bagh at 5.30 PM and dedicated a total of three buildings, including this Heritage Building, renovated by the union government. Modi then left for Millennium Park, where he is inaugurating the light and sound system on the Howrah Bridge.

The prime minister is scheduled to visit Belur Math from here. Returning from there, he will stay in the night at Raj Bhavan.

Meanwhile, security agencies are cautious in view of the possibility of protests during the prime minister’s visit. Several human rights and leftist student organisations including the CPI(M) and the INC have already announced they will show black flags to the prime minister and raise the slogan of “go back” because of the CAA and NRC. The Special Protection Group (SPG) deployed in the security of the prime minister is also fully alert to possible contingencies.

If sources are to be believed, the SPG has prepared several alternative routes for the prime minister from the airport to the venue. After the event of the Kolkata Port Trust, Prime Minister Modi will head to the airport by a helicopter and, from there, he will leave for Delhi.

Earlier on Sunday in the morning, a state BJP delegation will meet the prime minister at Raj Bhavan. The delegation will apprise the prime minister of the campaign being run by the BJP against the Trinamool’s propaganda against CAA-NRC and the deteriorating law and order in the state.

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