Bengal govt fumes over Mamata’s missing invite, to skip metro launch event
A senior Metro official, who did not want to be identified, said the invitations were sent “following protocol.”Updated: Feb 13, 2020 15:45 IST
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government on Thursday decided to boycott the inauguration of the first phase of the East-West metro service by Railways Minister Piyush Goyal since chief minister Mamata Banerjee had not been invited to the programme.
The official invitation letter said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Union minister of state Babul Supriyo is the guest of honour at the event. Bengal’s fire services minister and local TMC legislator Sujit Bose, TMC Lok Sabha member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Salt Lake’s TMC mayor Krishna Chakraborty were listed as guests at the launch event scheduled to start at 5 pm.
A senior Metro official, who did not want to be identified, said the invitations were sent “following protocol.”
“I fail to understand what sort of a protocol says that the chief minister who had served as Union railway minister should not be invited to a programme like this,” said minister of state for parliamentary affairs Tapas Roy.
“Don’t we still use words such as decency and courtesy?” he added.
Interestingly, on Wednesday night, Supriyo wrote a long note on his social media page, justifying the exclusion of Mamata Banerjee’s name in the invitation card.
“Have a look at the Invitation Card of the East West Metro launch tomorrow. We have kept our dignity and did what is correct and conventional - that is Invite and Mention the names of everyone from the State Government ON the card itself (and we don’t think we have done a favour because that is customary) but did Didi’s (Banerjee’s) Govt invite me when these Electric Buses were flagged off?” wrote Supriyo referring to the 80 electric buses recently launched by the state. The Centre bore 60 % of the cost of 40 buses and 75 per cent for the rest, he said in his note.
Supriyo did not take calls when HT tried to contact him on Thursday.
The first phase of East West Metro will connect Salt Lake sector five to Salt Lake stadium, a distance of 3.7 km. This is part of the elevated portion of East-West metro.
Once completed, the East West Metro will connect Kolkata to Howrah located on the western bank of the Hooghly river. It will be 16.6 km long including the 5.8 km elevated stretch. Of the 10.8 km underground section, a portion of the tunnel would pass under the river.
But the Trinamool Congress isn’t the only one complaining about being left out.
Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has complained that he had not been invited to the convocation ceremony at Panchanan Barma University in Cooch Behar district. The governor is the chancellor of all state-run universities.
“Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University Convocation will be held on Feb 14. Bengal ministers Partha Chatterjee, Goutam Deb, Rabindra Nath Ghosh and Binay Krishna Barman are invited for the Convocation. Chancellor, who has (the) right to preside, has just no information !Where are we heading !” Dhankhar tweeted.
University officials said they sent an invitation to the governor but did not receive any reply. Education minister Partha Chatterjee said “He should stop cribbing like this every day.”