Modi-Mamata Ties: One Meeting, Many Questions
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met on Saturday at Raj Bhawan, amidst ongoing protests across the city against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
This was their first meeting in many months. Both met at the Raj Bhavan at around 4 PM, as officially confirmed by the West Bengal Secretariat. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Minister of State for Shipping, had personally gone to the state secretariat on Friday to invite Banerjee to the 150th-anniversary program of KoPT on Sunday.
On her discussion with PM Modi, Mamata Banerjee further said, "We are against the CAA and NRC and NPR. It should be ensured that no one leaves the country. There should not be atrocities on anyone. The government should re-consider the NRC and the CAA." Banerjee said that during the meeting she also asked for the Rs 28,000 crore flood package that the state is yet to receive from the Centre following Cyclone Bulbul.
One argument is that this would ensure that the BJP remains indebted to Ms. Banerjee, without being a formal ally, for the TMC leader’s decision to pull her punches at a time when Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah were under pressure. Another being that If it gets more pronounced in the coming months — it may strengthen the CPI(M)-Congress alliance and ensure a robust three-cornered contest in 2021, an outcome that would play to Ms. Banerjee’s advantage.