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26 Jul 2017

CM talks to Rajnath on hills & inundation

TT, New Delhi, July 25: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today met Union home minister Rajnath Singh here to discuss the Darjeeling unrest and the flood-like situation in the state following an advice from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"I met Modiji in the morning in the Central Hall of the Parliament. I told him if he had time, then, we could meet and discuss the situation. He told me, 'Didi, I am going to Gujarat', and asked me to talk to Rajnathji," Mamata said after meeting Singh for over an hour at his 17 Akbar Road residence.
"There have been several deaths in Gujarat today because of flood and we all are very sad. There is a flood-like situation in our state, too. We will have to work together as rain will continue even in August," she added.
The chief minister said she wanted to meet Singh anyway, as he was nursing a leg fracture.
Mamata was at Parliament to attend the swearing-in of Ram Nath Kovind as the 14th President of India.
After the meeting with Singh, Mamata said talks were "good".
"I told him that in politics, we have different ideologies. But when we work for the government, we work together when there are problems. I passed on to him whatever information I had," she said.
Asked whether she had informed the Union home minister about her allegations of the involvement of external forces in Darjeeling's violence, Mamata said: "See, I provided all the information I was supposed to give.... Ispey pura details mein charcha hua (We discussed this in detail)."
Responding to questions on the support of some BJP leaders to Gorkhaland, Mamata said: "They are giving locally and not nationally. I think nationally no, but of course, locally they are giving."
Asked whether Singh had given any assurance on the Darjeeling agitation and the flood, Mamata said he had always been "a very nice man". "Rajnathji is always very positive. In these matters I think the government is positive," she said.
On central help to Bengal for the flood, the chief minister said priority should be given to states that needed immediate help, like Gujarat. Mamata said the Centre had offered to send a team for surveying the flood in Bengal, but she asked Singh not to dispatch anyone now.
Over the rest of her stay - she plans to return on Thursday - Mamata is likely to meet Opposition leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, besides those from the JDU, RJD and the DMK.
The Trinamul chief, said sources, is likely to hold discussions on support for the Opposition candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi in the vice-presidential polls.
However, asked if she planned to meet other political leaders during her stay, Mamata said: "I came to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the President."
"There is a flood-like situation in my state, so I thought I should tell the Centre about the situation in my state," she added.
Support for Meira
Mamata said Trinamul would take a call on supporting Meira Kumar if she was fielded as a candidate in Rajya Sabha polls from Bengal once the Congress made its stand clear.

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