Mamata Banerjee to skip Netaji statue event in Delhi; says she wasn't invited properly
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she would not attend the unveiling of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's statue near the India Gate in Delhi as she wasn't given a proper invitation for the event, media reports said.
An officer of the undersecretary level gave her the invitation letter yesterday, informing her about Wednesday's event.
The bureaucrat told Banerjee that "the PM will inaugurate the Netaji statue at 7 pm and you must be there at 6 pm", she said.
Expressing her strong disapproval over the way she was invited, she said, "As if I am their servant. How can an undersecretary write to a Chief Minister? Why has the culture minister become so big."
"That's why I garlanded the Netaji statue here in the afternoon today to offer my respects," she was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a 28-foot statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose near India Gate and a refurbished Central Vista with the Rajpath road renamed as "Kartvavya Path".
Banerjee also pointed out that she had not been invited to meet Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, who is on a four-day visit to India.
The West Bengal CM said she wasn't invited though she had heard that Sheikh Hasina wanted to meet her and pointed out that this was the first time that Bengal had been left out during the visit of the PM of the eastern neighbour.
Mamata Banerjee said she shared an excellent relationship with Sheikh Hasina's family. She also said that she was curious as to why the BJP-led central government was "worried" about her meeting Sheikh Hasina, according to the NDTV report.
She wanted to refrain from commenting on external affairs or bilateral ties, but the Centre tried to stop her whenever any foreign country invited her, Banerjee claimed.
"I want to know why the Union government is so worried about me meeting foreign dignitaries," she remarked, the report said.