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Mamata keeps Buddhadeb away from Metro project function

Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday kept West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee out of the list of invitees as President Pratibha Patil laid the foundation stone for a new Metro project in Kolkata.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Kolkata
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2010 09:36 PM IST

Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday kept West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee out of the list of invitees as President Pratibha Patil laid the foundation stone for a new Metro project in Kolkata.

"I received no invitation," the chief minister told reporters at the state secretariat.

State Transport Minister Ranjit Kundu said an invitation card had been sent to his office Tuesday evening after he had left for the day.

"As far as I know, neither the chief minister nor any other state government ministers were invited to that programme. However, yesterday (Tuesday) at 4.30 p.m. an invitation card was sent to my office when I had already left," Kundu told IANS.

The foundation stone-laying function for the Joka-BBD Bag metro rail line was attended by Governor M.K. Narayanan, union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, among other dignitaries.

"I cannot comment on this issue," said a metro railway official.

This is not the first time that Banerjee had chosen to keep out Bhattacharjee and his ministerial colleagues at bay. Earlier, she drew the ire of the state's ruling Left Front for keeping them out of the guest list of various railway programmes.

The Left Front had then claimed that those railway projects would not have been a success without assistance from the state government.

According to Trinamool Congress sources, it is the declared policy of the party that no party leaders will attend a programme or share the dais where Left Front leaders or CPI-M leaders are present.

However, during another programme graced by Patil during the day, state Agricultural Minister Naren De had shared the dais with Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandophadhyay.

However, while Bandopadhyay - a Lok Sabha member - addressed the platinum jubilee celebrations of the Marwari Federation, De remained mum.

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