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“As If I’m Their Servant”: Mamata Banerjee to skip netaji statue event

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee today said she would not attend the inauguration of a Netaji statue in Delhi today as the invite was “not proper”.
The West Bengal Chief Minister said she received a letter yesterday from a bureaucrat informing her about today’s event.

“I got a letter yesterday from a undersecretary yesterday saying the PM will inaugurate the Netaji statue at 7 pm and you must be there at 6 pm. As if I am their servant. How can an undersecretary write to a Chief Minister? Why has the culture minister become so big,” Mamata Banerjee said at a party gathering in Kolkata.

“That’s why I garlanded the Netaji statue here in the afternoon today to offer my respects,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a 28-foot statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose near India Gate and a refurbished Central Vista with the Rajpath road renamed as “Kartvavya Path”.

Mamata Banerjee also took exception to not being invited to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is on a four-day India visit. “This is for the first time that the Bangladesh PM is here and Bengal has been left out. I heard Hasina ji wanted to meet me. I have very good relations with her family,” said the Chief Minister.

Ms Banerjee said she was curious why the BJP-led central government was “worried” about her meeting Sheikh Hasina.

“I don’t want to talk about external affairs or bilateral ties. But I have noticed that the Centre tries to stop me whenever I am invited to any foreign country. I want to know why the Union government is so worried about me meeting foreign dignitaries,” she remarked.