Mamata Banerjee purposely boycotted Cyclone Yaas review meeting with PM Modi: Sources

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, June 01, 2021, 07:15 PM IST
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A nine-point rejoinder, issued by government sources alleged that Mamata Banerjee had given "entirely false statements" and "boycotted" a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday after agreeing to attend it, NDTV reported.

Mamata Banerjee and her team left after a brief interaction with the Prime Minister. According to sources, PM Modi never permitted Mamata Banerjee to leave the review meeting as she claims.

In response to Banerjee's claim about being informed belatedly about the Prime Minister's schedule, the sources said a meeting to assess cyclone damage could not be finalised before the event has transpired.

While refuting assertions that the Chief Minister had to wait before she could meet the Prime Minister, sources said that since the PM landed at Kalaikunda at 1.59 pm, and Mrs Banerjee arrived at 2.10 PM there is no doubt that PM was kept waiting. A TMC MP who tweeted that there was no big deal in PM being kept waiting confirms this.

They also stated that she landed, reached the building and met the PM, all within the span of 25 minutes and moved on to her next destination, before the PM which proves that her statement is false.

The sources also said that while Mamata Banerjee had earlier agreed to attend the PM's review she changed her mind after learning that her former aide-turned- BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, who is the state's Leader of Opposition, would be part of the gathering.

Mamata Banerjee avoided the meeting because Mr Suvendu Adhikari was present. However, the government chose to overlook this as relief activities were the priority. On learning that the PM will attend to her after the meeting, she dissuaded the officers from attending and in effect cancelled the review meeting scheduled by the Prime Minister, sources told NDTV.

“Mamata Banerjee has purposely boycotted the meeting. Initially she had agreed to attend the meet but later when she got to know that BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari will be present at the meet she didn’t attend the Yaas review meet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t give her permission to leave the meet as she claims,” said the sources.

On the Chief Minister's claim that she had to wait for 20 minutes and her chopper had to hover to make way for the PM's chopper to land, the sources said she should have come in advance.

Mr Bandyopadhyay, who chose not to go to Delhi was appointed Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister yesterday.

The Centre defending its order which directed Alapan Bandyopadhyay, then Chief Secretary of Bengal, to report to Delhi said that since the Chief Secretary is an All India Services officer, the order is within the ambit of the constitution and due to his disregard for constitutional duties, the review meeting could not take place.

Sources further told NDTV that Mr Bandyopadhyay's retirement showed that Mamata Banerjee was on the backfoot since his behaviour would have drawn strict action.

Banerjee's objection to Suvendu Adhikari's presence was also disputed by the Centre, which said that representatives of other parties have been part of meetings in non-BJP ruled states before this.

The recall order against Alapan Bandyopadhyay came after Banerjee along with the state chief secretary skipped the review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Mamata Banerjee allegedly arrived 30 minutes late to the meeting and handed the PM reports of damage caused by the impact of Cyclone Yaas. Following which she and the state chief secretary left for a "pre-scheduled" meeting at Digha.

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