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West Bengal CM meets PM Modi at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata, says 'protocol meeting not a political meeting'

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Kolkata (West Bengal) | March 1, 2024 9:55:49 PM IST
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Friday met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on Friday evening.

However, Mamata Banerjee clarified that her meeting was both a protocol meeting and a courtesy meeting.

"This is a protocol and courtesy meeting. I am not going to discuss any political things, because this is not at all a political meeting," she said.

"It is a protocol that if the President or Prime Minister visits, the CM has to meet them," she added.

Mamata Banerjee's meeting with the Prime Minister comes at a time when the state claims that the Centre owes the West Bengal government over lakh crore rupees in due.

Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the central government for blocking the disbursement of funds to the state.

Banerjee further said that just like the state government is providing beneficiaries with MGNREGA funds, it will do so for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana as well if the Centre does not release funds for it by April 1.

"If by April 1, the Center does not release money for Awaas Yojna, the state government will release funds for the same, just like we are releasing MGNREGA funds for the deprived beneficiaries," the Chief Minister said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on February 2 announced that the state government would pay 21 lakh MGNREGA workers their pending wages by February 21.

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has consistently protested against the central government, citing delays in fund allocation for initiatives such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and other social security programs in the state.

However, the Ministry of Rural Development stated that the release of funds for West Bengal was stopped on March 9, 2022, by Section 27 of MGNREGA because of the state's non-compliance with the directives of the central government.

In December last year, a ten-member delegation led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the alleged delay in the release of MGNREGA funds to the state. (ANI)

 
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