KOLKATA: The CPM in West Bengal has raised a question that, from its own point of view, it couldn’t have timed better. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi around noon today. On the eve of her first-ever planned meeting with him, the CPM asked if Ms Banerjee was planning a ‘ghar wapasi’.
At a rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground on Sunday, the CPM attacked Ms Banerjee on every possible front: her alleged failure to create jobs, ensure women’s safety and, of course, the Saradha chit fund scam. On the dais were Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Prakash Karat, Biman Bose and Sitaram Yechuri.
But the prickliest question came from parliamentarian Md Salim who said, “Mamata had said before the Lok Sabha elections she would tie a rope round Modi’s waist and drag him around. Many Muslim brothers thought, here is a brave daughter who will drag Modi around with a rope around his waist. But we now have to ask, Didi, you are going to Delhi, Are you taking a rope? Or are you taking a rakhi for Modi.”
Slamming the Trinamool for bringing the BJP to West Bengal, Mr Salim added, “Is this a drama? BJP is saying ghar wapasi. Trinamool from its birth was with the BJP. Didi is now going for ‘ghar wapasi‘.”
Barring an accidental meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan in December, Ms Banerjee has avoided PM Modi for the last nine months, not even sending a representative to the first meeting of the Niti Aayog in February, which replaced the Planning Commission. But, at last, Ms Banerjee herself sought – and got – an appointment with PM Modi. On the agenda – the state’s financial crisis.
“The previous government and the current government, both had said the Finance Commission would address our financial crisis. But it did not. So this meeting was necessary,” she had said on Wednesday.
The CPM will be closely watching Ms Banerjee’s meeting with the PM today. Elections to over 90 civic bodies in Bengal are due next month; Assembly polls are scheduled to be held next year.