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PM inaugurates research institute in Kolkata

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Kolkata to lay the foundation stone of a science research institute.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 15:24 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Kolkata on Tuesday morning to lay the foundation stone of a science research institute amid a road blockade programme by the Trinamool Congress to protest rising prices of essential commodities.

The prime minister's special flight touched down at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport around 10.40 am.

He was received at the airport by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and senior Congress leaders.

There were tight security arrangements along the entire route to Salt Lake as the prime minister's convoy headed straight for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics.

Manmohan Singh will call on veteran communist leader and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu at his Indira Bhavan residence in Salt Lake.

After the courtesy call, he goes to the state governor's residence Raj Bhavan in central Kolkata around 12 noon.

Official sources said the prime minister will hold separate meetings with Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya on different issues, including the future of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) that had recently been brought under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution.

He leaves for New Delhi late afternoon.

While the Congress has criticised the programme by the Trinamool Congress for staging its protest on a day the prime minister is visiting the city, party supremo Mamata Banerjee said her programme would not disrupt Manmohan Singh's movement.