West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid intense speculations about her next political move.
Banerjee described her meeting as another attempt to seek release of pending central funds for her state’s projects.
“Even after more than four years of our rule, we are still repaying the debt left behind by the previous Left Front government. I hope the Centre will give us justice. It was not a political meeting,” she said.
Banerjee pointed out that while her government had been able to mop up more revenue, more than 50% of the money was going away is repaying the central debts. “How long can this situation continue?” she said.
Sources said in the first part of the meeting, the PM was accompanied by some senior officials of the PMO. Later, Modi spoke exclusively to Banerjee.
The meeting between Modi and Banerjee also comes amid intense speculations among the Trinamool’s rivals that the CM seeks Centre’s “intervention” to tackle the CBI probe into the Sharadha scam. Trinamool sources, however, denied such allegations.
On Wednesday, Banerjee is slated to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the latter’s birthday. The meeting assumes significance as a section of the Congress is keen for an alliance with TMC for the next year’s assembly elections in West Bengal.
At the sidelines of the swearing in ceremony of the Nitish Kumar government, Banerjee had a long conversation with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
After meeting the PM, the Bengal CM said that the state wants central aid for relief and rehabilitation of lakhs of people affected by recent floods in West Bengal.
(With PTI inputs)