West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived here on Thursday on a four-day visit and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to discuss multiple issues, including GST dues for her state.
Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo, met her party’s MPs and discussed with them the current session of Parliament and the road to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, sources said. She also sought from them suggestions for the names of the seven new districts in West Bengal announced by her recently, they said.
Banerjee’s nephew and TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was vocal during the meeting and made suggested what issues the MPs should raise in the last few days of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, sources said. Both categorically told party MPs not to get “intimidated” by the BJP.
On Friday, Banerjee is scheduled to meet President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In her meeting with Modi, she is likely to discuss the GST dues for West Bengal, sources told PTI.
The West Bengal chief minister will attend a Niti Aayog meeting on August 7, PTI said, adding also on the cards is a meeting with non-Congress Opposition leaders such as that of the DMK, TRS and AAP on Saturday.
With the TMC warming up to the Congress in Parliament, Banerjee might also meet the grand old party president Sonia Gandhi, who is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money-laundering case.
Meanwhile, TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay said, “We met (Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj) Giriraj Singh and he had promised to resolve the MGNREGA issue within 48 hrs. It has been over a month and all I received is a dour-page answer which I have given to Mamata Banerjee.”
He further said that during the MPs’ meeting with Banerjee, she gave them “guidelines” to be followed. This time was no exception. We will continue to raise pro-people issues,” he said.
With former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee under the Enforcement Directorate scanner in the cash-for-jobs scam in the state, sources indicated that Banerjee is unlikely to address the media.
Prime Minister Modi will chair a Niti Aayog governing council meeting on August 7, where issues related to agriculture, health and economy would be discussed. The council meets regularly. Its first meeting was held on February 8, 2015. Banerjee had given the council’s last year’s meeting a miss. She is expected to raise the concerns of non-payment of GST dues and federalism issues at this year’s meeting.