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US wants Mamata as West Bengal CM: WikiLeaks

News18

Updated: April 21, 2011, 4:15 PM IST
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US wants Mamata as West Bengal CM: WikiLeaks
Mamata Banerjee would better serve American interests as Chief Minister of West Bengal.

New Delhi: All India Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee would better serve American interests as Chief Minister of West Bengal if she wins the 2011 Assembly election in the state, according to an Embassy cable leaked by online whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

The October, 2009 Kolkata Consulate cable, headlined 'Trinamool's Mamata Banerjee: from oppositional street fighter to West Bengal Chief Minister-in-waiting,' advises United States officials to cultivate Banerjee as the likely next Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Though skeptical of Banerjee's makeover from a political maverick to someone "cooler, more level-headed, and willing to accept outside advice," the cable said Trinamool's "public rhetoric, devoid of any anti-Americanism, and private outreach to post's officers are encouraging signs that a Banerjee-led West Bengal government will be friendlier to the United States than the current CPI-M one."

"Consensus exists that she is conscientiously trying to transform her image from political maverick and firebrand to a woman ready, able and willing to lead India's fourth most populous state," the cable said.

"Post recommends USG officials continue to cultivate Banerjee, who has not yet visited the United States, in her current capacity as Railways Minister and the likely next Chief Minister of West Bengal," it said.

The consulate said that following her party's success in West Bengal in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, Banerjee, has conscientiously sought to re-brand herself as West Bengal's Chief Minister-in-waiting.

"She is using the considerable administrative resources at her disposal as Railway's Minister, political resources as leader of the state opposition party, and personal resources to initiate this transformation."

But it remained doubtful of whether Banerjee's transformation is indeed a new product, or simply new packaging.

Under a sub-head of 'Mamata Courts Industry and Vice Versa' the consulate discussed how Banerjee assiduously courted "Kolkata's business community through outreach and appointment of respected business advisors to combat her perceived anti-industry label."

First Published: April 21, 2011, 4:15 PM IST
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