Mamata asks PM to withdraw BSF jurisdiction order

Mamata meets PM, seeks withdrawal of BSF jurisdiction order

After the meeting, Banerjee said that she briefed the Prime Minister on Tripura violence

Credit: Twitter/@PMOIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share the podium with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to seek investments for the state at a business summit in Kolkata in April 2022 – just about a year after he spent days slamming her and her Trinamool Congress for blocking industrial development.

Banerjee met Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday and told him that the political differences between his Bharatiya Janata Party and her Trinamool Congress should not have any adverse impact on the cooperation between the Centre and the State Government. She invited him to inaugurate the Global Bengal Business Summit, which her government would host in Kolkata on April 20 and 21. She later told journalists that the Prime Minister had accepted the invitation of the Government of West Bengal.

She urged the Prime Minister to withdraw the recent order by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) up to 50 kilometres inside the international boundaries.

“I am not against the BSF. I respect all the agencies. But the BSF personnel often open fire and poor people get killed. Let the BSF manage the border and the State Government would extend all assistance if required,” she told journalists after meeting the Prime Minister, adding: “The federal structure of the nation should be strengthened. It should not be disturbed unnecessarily.”

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The Chief Minister of West Bengal also said that she requested the Prime Minister to clear the fund the Centre had to provide the State Government to help rebuild the infrastructure damaged by a series of natural calamities.

“I told the Prime Minister that our political ideologies may be different. But that should not have any impact on the relation between the Centre and the State Government,” the Chief Minister of West Bengal said after meeting the Prime Minister.

Banerjee’s invitation to Modi to inaugurate the business summit in Kolkata in April 2022 signalled her intent to move on and develop working relations between her government in the state and the Centre, leaving behind the allegations and counter-allegations between the two leaders during the state assembly elections in West Bengal in March-April this year.

She reached out to Modi even as the Congress of late accused her Trinamool Congress of trying to split secular votes to help the BJP, particularly in Goa.

This was the third meeting between Banerjee and Modi after the Trinamool Congress trounced the BJP in West Bengal polls and won the third straight term for her in the office of the Chief Minister, despite extensive campaigning by the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister Amit Shah as well as all other top BJP leaders.

The first encounter between the two at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station in May triggered a political slugfest between the Centre and the Government of West Bengal over the then Chief Secretary of the State, Alapan Bandopadhyay. The second in New Delhi saw her raising the demand for a probe monitored by the Supreme Court into allegations of use of spyware for snooping on the phones of the opposition politicians and others.

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