Mamata Meets PM Modi, West Bengal’s Name Change Proposal Discussed

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter's residence in New Delhi on Wednesday, 18 September.

Addressing the media after the meeting, she said that the demand for West Bengal's name change to Bangla was brought up.

"“The meeting with the prime minister was good. We discussed changing the name of West Bengal to ‘Bangla’. He has promised to do something about the matter.”" - Mamata Banerjee

The meeting assumes significance as Banerjee has been one of the harshest critics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Modi, with acrimony between the two leaders reaching a high during this year's Lok Sabha elections.

The last time Banerjee and Modi met was at the Visva Bharati University convocation at Shantiniketan on 25 May 2018. She did not attend Modi's swearing-in in May when he took over charge for the second time and stayed away from the Niti Aayog meeting in June.

‘Courtesy Visit’

A day before the meeting, Banerjee had described her scheduled meeting with PM Modi as a "courtesy" visit, saying that she would highlight various issues like funds that are due to the state.

Talking to reporters at Kolkata airport on Tuesday, Banerjee had said she would also raise issues like name change of the state as well matters like merger of public sector banks during the meeting.

“I go to New Delhi very rarely. This is a routine work. This time I am going to talk about funds that are due to West Bengal. I will also highlight issues like change of West Bengal’s name,” Banerjee had said before leaving for New Delhi.

"Will also talk about matters like merger of public sector banks, issues with Air India, BSNL, Railways where there are several problems. They (employees of these organisations) cannot go anywhere and come to us," she had added.

The BJP, which won 18 out of a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, only four less than TMC's tally of 22, is eyeing to defeat Banerjee's party in the 2021 state Assembly polls.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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