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PM did not give permission to Mamata to leave review meeting: Govt sources

Top sources in the Narendra Modi government have rejected the claims made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently with regard to the fiasco over the cyclone Yaas review meeting in Kolkata.

PM Modi did not give permission to Mamata to leave review meeting sources-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 1, 2021, 2:25 PM IST
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Top sources in the Narendra Modi government have rejected the claims made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently with regard to the fiasco over the cyclone Yaas review meeting in Kolkata.

Contrary to Mamata's claims that she took Prime Minister Narendra Modi's approval thrice before leaving the meeting, government sources said that the Prime Minister gave her no such permission.

Countering Mamata's claims that she could not attend the meeting as her programs for the day were already fixed, government sources said, "Mamata Banerjee had agreed to attend the meeting. However, she changed her mind after coming to know that the Leader of Opposition (Suvendu Adhikari) was going to be part of the meeting, which she also mentions in her letter. Hence, it is clear that her pre-decided schedule was not an issue at all. This was also confirmed by the West Bengal Governor who has tweeted that Mamata told him that she would boycott the meeting if LoP of WB attends the meeting."

 

 

"Mamata Banerjee chose to boycott the review meeting because the Leader of Opposition was present. No issue was created by the Centre on this because what mattered was cyclone relief activities. It was suggested to her that Prime Minister will meet her immediately after the review meeting as that was the reason for which he travelled to WB. Sensing that she may have to wait till the review meeting gets over, she chose to prevent other officers too from attending the meeting and in effect cancelled the review meeting scheduled by the Prime Minister," sources added.

Informed sources also countered the West Bengal chief minister's claim that she was informed late about the Prime Minister's programme and meeting. 

Sources said, "The PM's visit was to assess damage due to cyclone Yaas. So it cannot be finalised before the cyclone comes. In fact, the same timelines were followed when the prime minister visited WB last year after Cyclone Amphan. This time, both Odisha and WB were informed at a similar time. However, Odisha managed the program very well, which was before the Bengal visit."

Following the fiasco, West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay was recalled by the Centre apparently for skipping the review meeting.

Mamata had claimed that the order of recall her chief secretary was legally untenable, unprecedented and unconstitutional. The West Bengal Chief Minister said she was stunned by the unilateral order that was taken without prior consultation with the state.

However, as per government sources, the All India Services officer chose to ignore his constitutional duties. 

"No presentation was given to the Prime Minister, and no officer of the state government attended the PM's review meeting. Mamata knows that the facts of the matter are against the Chief Secretary and his behaviour was such that it would invite strict disciplinary action as he is an All India Services Officer, and it was his duty to ensure that the review meeting takes place as scheduled. All India Officers are not expected to be part of politics. Mamata knows all this, and his retirement is the last bid to save him," sources said.

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