New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has refuted reports that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was denied permission to visit Chicago. “We didn’t receive any request for clearance regarding visit of Mamata Banerjee to Chicago for any event. Reports about denial of permission are, therefore, not true,” MEA said in response to a question on the reports.
Earlier, Trinamool Congress’ national spokesperson and MP Derek O’Brien, while attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), said that they wanted only one major programme to be held in Chicago. He said that under ‘tremendous pressure’ the organisers were prevailed upon to cancel the programme “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,” he said in a statement.
The statement further said, “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.”