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St.Stephen’s withdraws invite to Mamata Banerjee; TMC blames BJP, RSS

TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien said Mamata Banerjee was giving the BJP-RSS sleepless nights.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2018 20:34 IST
Mamata Banerjee,Trinamool Congress,St Stephens
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to attend an event at St Stephen’s College and interact with the students of the institute.(PTI File Photo)

St Stephen’s College has withdrawn an invite extended to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to attend an event and interact with the students of the institute. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership on Saturday sniffed a BJP-RSS hand behind the cancellation of Banerjee’s engagement and said her voice “cannot be silenced”.

The event, planned by one of the societies of the college, is scheduled to be held on August 1.

Reacting to the development, TMC national spokesperson and leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien said, “First, the Vivekananda event in Chicago, then her China visit and now St Stephens. Mamata Banerjee is giving the BJP-RSS sleepless nights. Let them keep trying, she cannot be silenced.”

Banerjee was supposed to attend the event, but the principal denied permission and the invitation was withdrawn yesterday, a source said.

The college’s Planning Forum had submitted a request online to the authorities to invite her, but the request could not be processed due to some “server issues”. Later, they wrote a letter seeking permission to invite her, but the principal denied permission, the source said.

College Principal John Varghese could not be contacted for a comment.

Banerjee will go to Delhi as scheduled. She will be the chief guest at the “Love your Neighbour” conference organised by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India on July 31, O’Brien said.

According to party sources, she will be in the national capital for three days to personally invite opposition leaders to the “federal front” rally she plans to hold in January in Kolkata.

Last month, Banerjee had cancelled a scheduled visit to China at the last moment over non-confirmation of “political meetings at an appropriate level” by the Chinese government. She was slated to visit Chicago in August to address a gathering of seers on the anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic Chicago address in 1893. That event too was cancelled.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 20:34 IST