Meeting with PM Modi on development and not politics: Mamata Banerjee

Banerjee, who was a bitter critic of Modi's demonetisation drive, said she discussed a range of issues related to soil erosion caused by the Ganga in West Bengal and restructuring of the state's debt.
PM Modi with WB CM Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi...
PTI New Delhi 25 May 2017, 11:31 PM IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she discussed "development and not politics" at a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. 

The Trinamool Congress chief's meeting with Modi came amid efforts by opposition leaders to choose a consensus candidate for the coming presidential polls. The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is yet to announce its presidential candidate. 

"This was not a political meeting, (but an) absolutely development oriented meeting. I have taken up several issues with the Prime Minister," Banerjee told reporters, describing it as a "customary" meeting between the state government and the Centre. 

Banerjee, who was a bitter critic of Modi's demonetisation drive, said she discussed a range of issues related to soil erosion caused by the Ganga in West Bengal and restructuring of the state's debt. 

Issues such as the Farakka barrage, the heavy export duty imposed by Bangladesh on mangoes from West Bengal and the construction of a dam over the Atrai River by Bangladesh were also discussed. 

She also demanded a restructuring of the central government's loan to the state, which has been reeling under financial problems. 

"I have to pay Rs 40,000 crore. How do we work in such a scenario," she said outside South Block, where the Prime Minister's Office is situated, after the meeting. 

Banerjee also demanded that India take up with Bangladesh the issues of heavy export duty on West Bengal mangoes and the Atrai dam construction, which had led to a water shortage in the state's West Midnapore district. 

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