Modi, Mamata, Dhankhar likely to share stage in Kolkata

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The development appears significant as Modi and Banerjee have not shared a public platform with each other in recent times. (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar are likely to share stage on Sunday during the Kolkata Port Trust’s (KoPT’s) 150th anniversary celebrations.

Union Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) Mansukh L Mandaviya on Friday evening went to the state secretariat and invited Banerjee for the event. Sources in the state secretariat said Banerjee is likely to attend the event. The source also said Modi and Banerjee are expected to meet at Raj Bhavan in the presence of Dhankhar on Saturday evening.

“The PM, CM and Governor will inaugurate the 150th anniversary celebrations of KoPT. I am going to the state secretariat (Nabanna) to invite Banerjee to attend the event,” the minister said. Later the minister also went to Raj Bhawan to invite Dhankhar for the same.

The development appears significant as Modi and Banerjee have not shared a public platform with each other in recent times. Banerjee has been on the streets protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and announced that her government will not implement it in West Bengal. The chief minister also supported the students’ agitating against CAA and had sent a delegation to Uttar Pradesh to stand by the families of those who died in alleged police firing.

Meanwhile, Mandaviya said the Centre has no problem if the state government goes ahead with its plan to set up a deep sea port at Tajpur. The state government initially aligned with KoPT to come up with a deep sea port either in Sagar Islands or Tajpur. Later the state government decided to go ahead with the project alone without KoPT, which is under the Union shipping ministry.

“We are absolutely fine if the state government decides to go alone for the deep sea port project. We will cooperate with the state whenever and wherever necessary. Whether we build it or the state does, it will benefit the country after all”, Mandaviya said.

He added that the Centre has identified Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Chennai, Mangalore, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata as potential destinations for cruises and the first riverine cruise is expected to be started from KoPT.

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