Kolkata: TMC lawmakers to 'boycott' East-West Metro's inauguration today as CM Mamata Banerjee isn't invited
Kolkata/IBNS: TMC lawmakers, who have been invited to the flagging off event of Kolkata's East-West Metro's first phase's inaugural run on Thursday, decided not to join the function as Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) did not send any invitation to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reports said.
Sources in the TMC said that state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose, Barasat MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Krishna Chakraborty, whose names were mentioned in KMRCL's invitation card as guests, will skip the event.
Union Rail Minister Piyush Goyal will flag off the inaugural run the first 5.8 km. phase of India's first underwater metro rail at Salt Lake Sector V station at 5 pm. on Thursday where Union Minister Babul Supriyo will be present as the guest of honour.
Operating a distance of six stations, Kolkata Metro will run its service in an elevated corridor between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium stations in the first phase.
"In next few months, we have plans to extend the service to underground Phoolbagan station, which is the next station to Salt Lake Stadium," a senior KMRCL official said.
"Commuters can avail the first phase of East West Metro from Friday (Feb 14) between Salt Lake Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium stations, from 8 am. to 8 pm. on weekdays (including Saturday) and from 12 pm. to 8 pm. on Sundays," the official added.
Meanwhile, TMC leaders slammed the KMRCL and Indian Railways for not calling CM Mamata Banerjee and state Urban Development Minister Firhad Bobby Hakim in the inauguration.
"Without getting help and support from West Bengal government, Kolkata Metro could never complete the East West Metro project, they should have invited Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the event," a senior TMC leader told IBNS.
"We believe, as Mamata Banerjee has become the leading face in the anti-BJP fraternity in India, BJP ruled Central government has decided to drop the Chief Minister from the inaugural event," the TMC leader added.
Countering the TMC statement, a BJP leader said, "While inaugurating Kolkata's North-South Metro's Tollygunge-Kavi Subhas (New Garia) extension in 2009, the then Union Rail minister Mamata Banerjee did not invite either the then Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya or any other state minister that time."
"History repeats itself! Mamata is facing exactly the same thing today exactly what she showed others that time," the leader said.