‘Clarify comment on Azad in writing’
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee chalked out a strategy in Kolkata on Saturday to save the UPA from the Opposition attack over her speech at the Lalgarh rally on August 9.kolkata Updated: Aug 15, 2010 00:23 IST
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee chalked out a strategy in Kolkata on Saturday to save the UPA from the Opposition attack over her speech at the Lalgarh rally on August 9.
At the late evening meeting that was formally termed as “informal”, Mukherjee asked the Trinamool Congress supremo to issue a written statement, clarifying her comments on Maoist leader Azad’s death.
Banerjee declared at the rally that preparations for peace talks with the Maoists were derailed because of rebel leader Azad’s “murder”.
Following her statement, the BJP and Left members attacked the UPA, although Banerjee remained in Kolkata because of her injuries sustained at a road accident on her way back from the rally.
The Trinamool source said the finance minister made it clear that the UPA had no problem with Banerjee brokering peace between the government and the Maoists at a later stage. But a statement was necessary now to fend off the Opposition.
Mukherjee told her that the statement should reach Delhi before the end of the Parliament session.
Earlier in Delhi, Mukherjee said he was making the trip to pay a courtesy visit to Banerjee and he had not been “directed or mandated by somebody”.
Emerging from the meeting, he said, “I enquired about her health. I wish she gets well soon and joins us in the monsoon session of Parliament.”
First Published: Aug 15, 2010 00:22 IST