Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi; discusses Covid, demands more vaccines for Bengal
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday - the first proper meeting between the two leaders after Banerjee became the state’s chief minister for a third consecutive time. The two leaders had met very briefly when PM Modi visited West Bengal to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Yaas in May.
Calling it a “courtesy” meeting, Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, told reporters that she raised the issue of the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and also demanded more vaccines and medicines for West Bengal.
“During the meeting, I raised the issue of Covid and the need for more vaccines & medicines in the state. I also raised the pending issue of the change of name of the state. On this issue, he said, “He will see,” she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Her visit comes at a time when Parliament's monsoon session is on in which the opposition parties are protesting on a range of issues including the allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware, price rise, and repeal of three farm laws.
Banerjee said that PM Modi should call an all-party meeting over the Pegasus hacking controversy, and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter. The chief minister's request for a probe comes exactly one day after the West Bengal government ordered an inquiry into the snooping scandal, the first state across India to do so.
Earlier in the day, Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma met the Trinamool Congress chief.
"I appreciate her for how she fought the recent polls and won. She has come to Delhi for the first time after victory, so I came and had tea with her," Sharma told mediapersons after the meeting.
Banerjee, who has been in the national capital since Monday, is also expected to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday along with other opposition leaders such as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.