New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to skip the sesquicentenary event of Kolkata Port Trust at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Sunday, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the opposition parties of “misleading” the youth on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act from the podium of Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math.
Banerjee was scheduled to share the dais with Modi for the second consecutive day, following their frosty meeting upon the PM's arrival for a two-day visit on Saturday.
Speaking at the event on Sunday, Modi proposed renaming the port after Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, who founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor to the Bharatiya Janata Party, in 1951.
Banerjee's decision to skip the event also comes in the wake of Saturday’s protests against her one-on-one meeting with the PM, which she described as a "courtesy visit".
The Bengal CM met him at Raj Bhavan, after deciding not to receive him at the airport, and also shared the stage with him while remaining insistent on annulment of the new citizenship law.
Black flags and angry chants of "Modi, go back" greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrived on Saturday.
An hour or so later, Modi and Banerjee were seated on stage at the Millennium Park, savouring a delightful dance performance on the Hooghly river as the iconic Howrah Bridge was aglow in hues of red, purple, yellow and green light.
Hundreds of protesters holding black flags demonstrated outside the Kolkata airport gate number one crossing. The police had put up a barricade to prevent them from crossing over to the airport side.