The Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress chief said she has told the PM that Centre-state relations should not suffer in a federal system, because of political and ideological differences and hence she wanted the PM to inaugurate the BBGBS in Kolkata in April 2022, and show the direction for the path that industry needs to take. “He accepted the invitation,” she said.
Banerjee said that she has also asked the Prime Minister to withdraw the order on extending the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) from 15 to 50 km in border states, that also includes Bengal, since “it disturbs the local law and order situation in the state from the confrontation between the central and state law and order agencies.”
She narrated a recent incident to the PM when firing by BSF personnel killed three people in Cooch Behar, Banerjee told the media after her interaction with Modi.
“We are not against BSF or central agencies, but it is a question of federalism… the state’s interest must be kept in mind. If you have to secure the border, the state will help the Centre with additional forces… there should be a meeting and the order should be revoked,” she said she told the Prime Minister.
Banerjee also raised the issue of central debts to the state which accounts for Rs 96,655 crore. PM Modi has said that he will look into the pending amount to the state, assess the situation, and get back to the CM on it, she told journalists.
The chief minister said that PM Modi assured her on resolving the crisis that is faced by the jute industry in Bengal. “He (PM) said he is also in favour of jute production and so asked him to instruct the jute commissioner to resolve the issue of a recent cap that has been imposed which has caused a lot of distress for the jute workers and jute growers,” she told the media.
On the issue of MSP (minimum support price), Banerjee said that she was with the farmers. “I want legislation on MSP to be passed,” she said when asked about the issue.
On violence in Tripura, Banerjee said that she had raised the issue with the PM and said that he should “see to it such incidents do not happen.”
Apart from her meeting with the PM, Banerjee said that she will be working with regional parties to defeat BJP in the state elections that are coming up and would be happy to help as a campaigner for “friendly parties like Samajwadi Party and its leader Akhilesh Yadav” in Uttar Pradesh. “In Goa, our party is already there, in other states I will be going whenever my party decides.”
Banerjee said that she will be in Mumbai later this month to attend an industry summit on December 1. “I will be meeting Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackaray ji and Sharad Pawar ji who is a very senior leader, while I am in Mumbai.”
Asked whether she was likely to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi during this trip, she said, “I had not asked for time this time, as all the parties are busy with Punjab and other state elections coming up.”