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Modi to Meet Mamata in Kolkata Today, Stay the Night at Ramakrishna Mission to Mark Vivekananda’s Birth Anniversary

File photo of PM Narendra Modi.

File photo of PM Narendra Modi.

PM' Narendra Modi's Bengal visit comes at a time when the state has been witnessing widespread protests against the contentious Citizenship Act.

Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will reach Kolkata on Saturday evening on a two-day visit of West Bengal, is likely to stay at the Ramakrishna Mission headquarters at Belur Math on day one.

Sources said Modi himself expressed a desire to spend time at the Ramkrishna Mission for a meditation session on Sunday, which will mark the birth anniversary of saint-philosopher Swami Vivekananda.

The Special Protection Group (SPG), in-charge of Prime Minister’s security, is working out details for his visit. “As per an earlier schedule, he was supposed to spend Saturday night at the Raj Bhawan but he expressed his desire to stay at Belur Math. Necessary arrangements were made at the International Guest House for his night stay. On Sunday, he is likely to take a bath at River Ganges and meditate in the same room in the Math premises where Swami Vivekananda used to meditate,” a source told News18.

Due to security reasons amid anti-CAA protests across the city, Modi will be taken to Belur Math through river Ganges route (from Millennium Park) in a special boat after he inaugurates a light and sound show at Howrah Bridge.

TMC sources said, “PM Modi will proceed for Belur Math after meeting Mamata Banerjee at 4pm on Saturday, after which Mamata will go for a scheduled public meeting at Rani Rash Moni Road.”

Modi had visited the Belur Math for the first time as the Prime Minister in 2015 and expressed his gratitude to the Ramkrishna Mission monks for allowing him to meditate in the room where Swami Vivekananda used to meditate.

This is PM Modi’s first visit to West Bengal after the BJP’s massive win in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The last time he came here was in April 2019 to address public rallies in South Dinajpore and Nadia districts.

On Sunday at around 11am, the Prime Minister will address a Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) event at Netaji Indoor Stadium and leave Kolkata at around 12.45 pm.

Although exact the agenda of meeting between Modi and Banerjee is not known yet, sources within BJP said the two leaders are likely to discuss various state and Centre issues, including the NRC and CAA.

Banerjee had met Modi on September 18 last year after a gap of nearly 16 months at his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence. She had termed the meeting as ‘non-political’ and ‘very good’. She had also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Speculations are rife that Mamata will request Modi to roll back the decision to implement NRC and CAA in India. BJP state vice-president Joy Prakash Majundar had said that, “a meeting with the senior state party leaders is also in the pipeline.”

The PM's visit comes at a time when West Bengal has been witnessing widespread protests against the contentious Citizenship Act.

Mamata has already announced that she would continue to fight against the NRC and CAA. “We opposed Centre’s decision to implement NRC, CAA. Why we need to prove our self that we are Indian? My party workers will protest in each and every block against the NRC. We are in favour of all the religions. We respect people from all castes and creed. We don’t discriminate people based on their religion. The NRC is based on religion and therefore we will not support this,” she had said.

Her reaction comes after Amit Shah said that Modi government would implement the NRC all over the country and “throw out infiltrators” from every inch of India, and he reiterated it by saying that it will be done before the 2024 general elections.