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India


Seen on a peace mission, Mamata gives centre freehand to suggest 'new name' for Bengal

Seen on a peace mission, Mamata gives centre freehand to suggest 'new name' for Bengal

New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) Apparently looking for rapprochement with the central BJP leadership whom she bitterly attacked, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend a coal bloc function in Birbhum district in October and also gave a freehand to the centre to 'make suggestions' for changing the name of West Bengal.

"We have passed a resolution to change the name of West Bengal thrice. So, I told him today, if you have any change to suggest or alter and add anything but keeping the word Bangla intact, they can do it," Ms Banerjee told reporters in Bangla after her much talked about meeting at PM's official residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg.

The meeting on Wednesday came within days the CBI dragnet almost touched former police commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund case.

She also had kept herself away from attending Prime Minister's swearing in ceremony for the second time on May 30 and in June boycotted a Niti Aayog meeting as well.

"Keeping the word Bangla, if they some suggestion to make; I will not have any objection to accept it," she said.

"This was a good meeting....I had not visited Prime Minister after he became Prime Minister for the second time," said Ms Banerjee. However, Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said perhaps the Chief Minister's gesture is coming "too late".

"It is good that her (Mamata Banerjee's) good sense has at last prevailed. But I think it's too late," Mr Ghosh said in Kolkata.

".....all those who have looted public money or have aided the culprits will have to go behind the bars," said Mr Ghosh, also an ardent critic of Ms Banerjee.

Incidentally, the meeting between PM Modi and Ms Banerjee came at a time when the Saradha chit fund probe case has taken an interesting turn with a number of Trinamool Congress leaders and onetime Ms Banerjee's trusted aide and former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar falling under the scanner of ongoing probe.

However, Trinamool sources said there was no time to talk about matters relating to the functioning of central agencies including CBI - which is probing the Saradha Chit fund case.

Ms Banerjee said she is keen to meet the Union Home Minister as well. 'If I get time, I will meet Mr Shah tomorrow,' she said and maintained the Home Minister is in Jharkhand.

Brushing aside their bitter political differences, the Chief Minister took a rather surprising stance and invited the Prime Minister to attend a coal bloc function in Birbhum district. The project is worth Rs 12,000 crore.

'This coal bloc will give jobs to many people,' she remarked.

UNI DEVN SHK2102

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