"Called Mamata Banerjee After Cyclone, But..." Say Officials In PM Office

Mamata Banerjee has been among the sharpest critics of PM Narendra Modi and the claim, made amid the election season, had been portrayed as an example of the Centre's shabby treatment of its detractors.

The Prime Minister's Office was allegedly told that Mamata Banerjee would return the calls

Highlights

  • Two attempts made to contact Mamata Banerjee: PM's Office officials
  • Ms Banerjee was out campaigning and she had not called back, they said
  • They said PM Modi then spoke to West Bengal governor Keshri Nath Tripathi
Kolkata:

Officials in Prime Minister's Office today said the claim that the Prime Minister has not contacted Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the Cyclone Fani, is not correct. Two attempts were made to contact the Chief Minister, who was out campaigning, and she had not called back, they said. Mamata Banerjee has been among the sharpest critics of the Prime Minister and the claim, made amid the election season, had been portrayed as an example of the Centre's shabby treatment of its detractors.

Cyclone Fani hit Odisha early on Friday morning and after causing massive devastation, moved towards Bangladesh, passing parts on Bengal on its way. Cancelling all campaign-related programme for two days, Mamata Banerjee had stayed in Kharagpur near Kolkata to monitor the situation.

A section of media had reported that the Chief Minister had expressed her displeasure that though the Prime Minister has spoken to her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik, he has made no attempt to contact her and has spoken only to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi.

Mr Patnaik has maintained equal distance from the Congress and the BJP. He has not been a part of the broader national alliance of opposition parties that is taking on the BJP in the general election.

Officials at the Prime Minister's office said two attempts were made by its staff on Saturday morning to connect the Prime Minister to the West Bengal Chief Minister on phone.

The first time, the staff who were attempting to place the call, were told that the Chief Minister is on tour, and the call will be returned.

On the second occasion too, the PMO staff were told by the Chief Minister's office that the call will be returned.

Yesterday, as flight operations resumed Kolkata ahead of time, Ms Banerjee said except for damaging a few huts, Cyclone Fani did not cause much havoc in West Bengal.

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