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BJP-RSS Pressured Organisers to Cancel Mamata Banerjee's US Programme, Alleges TMC

The party alleged that the BJP and RSS wanted only one major programme to be held in Chicago, which would be under the banner of the Global Hindu Congress attended by Mohan Bhagwat.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:September 13, 2018, 7:26 PM IST
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BJP-RSS Pressured Organisers to Cancel Mamata Banerjee's US Programme, Alleges TMC
File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
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Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has alleged that “pressure was mounted” on organisers to cancel a programme in Chicago on the occasion of 125 years of the historic address by Swami Vivekananda, where West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was invited.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the TMC alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS wanted only one major programme to be held in Chicago on the occasion.

“Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, on the occasion of 125 years of the historic address by Swami Vivekananda, had invited Mamata Banerjee to attend a programme in Chicago. The chief minister of West Bengal confirmed her participation to them.

“Subsequently, it is learnt, that under ‘tremendous pressure’ the organisers were prevailed upon to cancel the programme. It is common knowledge that the BJP-RSS wanted only one major programme to be held in Chicago and that would be under the banner of the Global Hindu Congress (World Hindu Foundation) and this programme would be attended by Mohan Bhagwat. To ensure this happened, intense pressure was mounted on Vivekananda Vedanta Society in Chicago to cancel the programme for which Mamata Banerjee had confirmed. Subsequently, the programme was cancelled,” the statement read.

The party also released the official statement from the US Consulate General in Kolkata regarding Banerjee’s planned visit.

“The US Consulate General in Kolkata is pleased to hear that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is interested in visiting the United States as there have been no visits by a Chief Minister from West Bengal in many years.

“The Chief Minister’s visit would be a good opportunity for her to highlight the possibilities in the economic and trade relationship with the United States and to experience America first hand. At this stage there have been no discussions with the U.S. Consulate General regarding the Chief Minister’s possible visit,” it read.

Banerjee had on Tuesday alleged that there was an “unholy conspiracy” to prevent her from attending the event, hinting at the BJP. She had also claimed that there was an attempt to take control of the Belur Math.

Reacting to the charges, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) had said it did not receive any request for her visit’s clearance. “We did not receive any request for clearance regarding the visit of Ms Mamata Banerjee to Chicago for the event. The reports about the denial of permission are, therefore, not true,” the MEA spokesperson had said on Wednesday.

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