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Finally... Mamata, Modi break their ‘silence’

The much awaited rendezvous, though it was not meant exclusively with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday exchanged words with him at a dinner hosted by the President Pranab Mukherjee in honour of Bangladesh counterpart Abdul Hamid at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Ever since Modi was sworn in as 15th Prime Minister of the country all the state Chief Ministers met him except Mamata. But on Friday for the first time Mamata had a word with Modi and both of them were seen exchanging words over several key issues pertaining to Bengal’s interest.

Modi, who was wearing a blue blazer and cream trouser with a pullover around his neck, too greeted Mamata at Ashoka Hall, where the dinner was arranged. Both of them, with folded hands, were seen discussing for little less than 15 minutes.

External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who was also present along with Modi, too had a casual interaction with Mamata and both of them were seen laughing over some ‘personal talk’. Sources said, Modi walked towards Mamata and conveyed his ‘political courtesies’ to her. Mamata too responded equally shared some ‘issues’ reportedly on ‘allocation of central funds’ etc with him.

When asked in the evening, before going to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, whether she would have any word with the PM or not, she said, “I am an invitee like others and will maintain political courtesies.”   
Mamata reached Rashtrapati Bhavan to attend the dinner around 8 am and was greeted by the President. She inquired after his health and advised him to ‘take care’ even after his release from the hospital.“Mamata Banerjee exchanged pleasantries with all guests at the dinner hosted by President of India for Bangladesh President,” a TMC tweet said. 

Later, Mamata walked towards the Bangladesh President and congratulated him for enhancing Indo-Bangladesh ties especially with West Bengal. Both of them had a long conversation over developmental, cultural and diplomatic issues pertaining to Bengal’s interest.
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