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Buddha, Mamata spat reaches Centre

delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2010 00:29 IST
Srinand Jha
Srinand Jha
Hindustan Times

The political slugfest between West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee carried over to the Capital on Monday.

Even as Bhattacharjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — apparently to seek central assistance for pending developmental projects — Banerjee held hurried meetings with Railway Board officials for ensuring that the Bengal-related rail projects are speeded up.

Banerjee is scheduled to meet the PM on Tuesday to complain about CPM government's efforts to "gag the opposition in Bengal".

At a public meeting, Bhattacharjee had said Banerjee "would not be allowed to create chaos in the state", while questioning why she had visited Darejeeling or Maoist-violence hit areas.

"The Trinamool chief is a mass leader who is all set to become CM in six month's time. Who is Bhattacharjee to question the reasons for her visits", Trinamool leader Sudip Bandopadhyaya said.

Bandopadhyaya has shot off a letter to Home Minister P. Chidambaram, asking him to seek a clarification from Bhattacharjee as to why he was delivering such types of "aggressive and violent" speeches — full of provocation and threat".

Ahead of the assembly polls in Bengal, Banerjee held consultations with Railways officials on what she perceives as her high-premium jobs.

Her top priorities include the proposal to hand out the biggest ever Productivity Linked Bonus of 77 days to the 14 lakh-odd railway employees. At the meet of the Union cabinet on Tuesday, Banerjee will seek sanction for the plan.