Fani Row: Modi Says He Called Mamata Twice, She Responds With Jibe
Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi. 
Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi. (Photo: The Quint)

Fani Row: Modi Says He Called Mamata Twice, She Responds With Jibe

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday, 6 May, said that she was unable to receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi's calls made to her office as she was then camping at Kharagpur to closely monitor the possible advent of Cyclone Fani in the state.

According to a report published by The Hindu, the prime minister’s office has clarified that two phone calls were made to the West Bengal chief minister. It was after the chief minister refused to speak to the prime minister that he was “forced” to speak to the governor, the official said.

“Two attempts were made on Saturday morning by the prime minister’s staff to connect the prime minister to the CM on phone. The first time they were told that the CM is on tour, and that the call will be returned. On the second occasion too, the staff were told by the CM’s office that the call would be returned,” a government source told The Hindu.

Also Read : Cyclone Fani: How Close Are We to ‘Minimal Casualty’ Target?

Prime Minister Modi had tweeted earlier that he had spoken to the West Bengal governor to take stock of Cyclone Fani.

“Spoke to Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi Ji, governor of West Bengal, on the situation due to Cyclone Fani. Reiterated the Centre’s readiness to provide all help needed to cope with the cyclone,” read the tweet.

Following the prime minister’s tweet, TMC officials criticised the move.

“This is an attack on a federal structure and a deviation from the Constitution. By calling the governor, he has acted as leader of the BJP and not as a prime minister. How can he deny the mandate of our people? Mamata Banerjee is the elected chief minister of Bengal. This is unfortunate,” Partha Chatterjee, General Secretary of the Trinamool Congress, had said on Saturday, 4 May.

Also Read : Restoration work in process: Mamata on Fani destruction

‘Speed-breaker Didi’ Vs ‘Expiry PM’

Speaking at a rally in Bengal’s Tamluk, the prime minister hit out at Mamata Banerjee, calling her ‘arrogant’.

“Speed-breaker didi has tried to play politics even with Cyclone Fani. I tried to talk to Mamata Didi before the cyclone hit, but such was her arrogance that she refused to talk to me”, Modi said.

Responding to Modi’s jibes, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, speaking at a campaign rally in West Bengal’s Bishnupur, said she couldn’t respond to the PM’s calls as she was in Kharagpur, a town near Kolkata, to monitor the situation on ground.

"Are we his servants that we have to go wherever he beckons? Now he will allege that I have not responded and have not shown cooperation. My(poll) meeting at Jhargram today was fixed. Elections are on in West Bengal, while it is over in Odisha. Why should I share dais with an expiry prime minister during election time,” Banerjee asked.

Earlier, India Today also reported that the West Bengal government had refused to have a review meeting for Fani with the Prime Minister’s Office, stating that government officials were busy with election duty.

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