NEWS
11/01/2020 5:20 PM IST

PM Modi Meets CM Banerjee Amid Protests In Kolkata Against CAA

Modi met Banerjee at the Raj Bhawan. Interestingly, the agenda of their meeting has not been disclosed.

Rafiquar Rahman / Reuters
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L), Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (C) and Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee in a file photo. 

Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met on Saturday at Raj Bhawan, amidst ongoing protests across the city against the amended Citizenship Act.

The agenda of the meeting has not been disclosed.

The politically significant meeting between the two leaders took place a short time after the PM arrived in the city on a two-day visit.

The meeting comes at a time when new citizenship law has emerged as the latest flashpoint in the state, with Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress opposing the contentious legislation tooth and nail, and the BJP pressing for its implementation.

Modi arrived in the city on Saturday evening on a two-day visit amidst protests against the contentious CAA and “Go back” slogans.

Modi on his arrival was greeted at the NSC Bose International Airport by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, city Mayor and state Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and other senior BJP leaders.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not present at the airport.

Hundreds of protesters holding black flags demonstrated outside Kolkata airport gate number one crossing.

The police had put up a barricade to prevent them from crossing over to the airport side.

From the airport he took a chopper to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) and from there left for the Raj Bhavan.

As his convoy emerged outside the sprawling RCTC, protesters stood at the AJC Bose Road flyover flank and waved national flags and black flags and shouted slogans against CAA.

SFI activists assembled near Jadavpur University, Golpark, College Street, Hatibagan and Esplanade areas of the city with placards which read ‘Students Against Fascism.’ They burnt effigies of PM Modi and union home minister Amit Shah protesting against the “divisive Act”.

The Left Front activists staged protests on Saturday against the new citizenship law in various parts of North 24 Parganas district.

The prime minister will dedicate to the nation four refurbished heritage buildings in Kolkata ― the Old Currency Building, the Belvedere House, the Metcalfe House and the Victoria Memorial Hall.

The Culture Ministry has renovated these iconic buildings and put up new exhibits, while curating the old galleries.

Modi will also participate in the sesquicentenary celebrations of the Kolkata Port Trust on Saturday and Sunday.

The prime minister and the chief minister will share the dais at programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will also be present.

Modi is likely to spend the night at Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission, on Saturday night.

The West Bengal administration has made elaborate security arrangements for the visit.

Heavy deployment of police personnel was made in different crucial points of the city namely Dharmatala, College Street, Golpark, Hatibagan, Jadavpur, Central Avenue owing to planned protests by several organisations affiliated to the Congress and Left Front parties against the CAA and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens.