Mamata meets Shiv Sena leaders Aaditya Thackeray, Sanjay Raut
Kolkata/Mumbai: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who on Tuesday left Kolkata to attend a meeting of young industrialists in Mumbai with a message that Bengal is now the destination for investment, began her three-day tour to Maharashtra by visiting the Shri Siddhivinayak temple in the country's financial capital.
She got busy in programmes and meetings soon after setting her feet in Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon. On the first day of her visit, Banerjee held a meeting with Shiv Sena leader and Cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray and the party's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut at a city hotel.
Despite being scheduled, Banerjee could not meet her Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray as he had undergone a surgery and doctors have advised avoiding meeting people as it may lead to infection.
"I share a very cordial relation with Mamata didi. It was a courtesy meeting in which there were discussions on various issues including politics. She wanted to meet him (Uddhav Thackeray). But it cannot happen due to health restrictions," Aaditya said after the meeting.
Banerjee has back to back meetings on Wednesday, including with National Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar followed by a meeting with members of civil society that has been arranged by Javed Akhtar and Sudheendra Kulkarni. "Sharad Pawarji is a very senior leader of the country. It can never happen that I will visit Mumbai and not meet Pawarji and Uddhav Thackerayji," Banerjee said while speaking to the media at Kolkata Airport before leaving for Mumbai.
National general secretary of Trinamool Congress Abhishek Banerjee has also left for Mumbai and would be accompanying the Trinamool Congress chairperson in the meeting with Pawar.
The meeting with Pawar is going to be of great political significance as it is being considered that it would take the formation of a front of the Opposition political parties — to fight against the BJP in 2024 – another step ahead.
Besides political outcome, the Chief Minister's visit to Mumbai is also focused on attracting investment for Bengal. "Bengal is the destination now for industrialists to invest and set up their units.
"I have attended the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) meeting earlier.
This time, I have been invited again to speak on industry and commerce. The programme would be attended by young industrialists and I am also going to invite them to attend our Bengal Global Business Summit. Since it has taken three years for the summit to take place due to the pandemic scenario, all protocols will be followed to organise the event as rolling of economy is important for livelihood," Banerjee said.
Top brass of the state government, including Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, is accompanying her in the tour to the country's financial capital. BGBS is going to be held on April 21 and 22.
When asked whether she would like Shah Rukh Khan during her visit to Mumbai, she said: "It may not be possible because they remain busy with shooting and all. But senior stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan and Mahesh Bhatt have been invited to attend the forthcoming Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF)."
After visiting the temple of Shri Siddhivinayak, Banerjee paid her homage to Shaheed Tukaram Omble and all the bravehearts who laid down their lives to protect this nation.
After attending her scheduled programmes on the first day of her visit, Banerjee said: "I am in Mumbai for two days. Today, I began my journey by visiting Shri Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple. I pray to Lord Ganesha for the well-being of all our people. I also visited the Shaheed Tukaram Omble Memorial. I salute him for his supreme sacrifice that saved an entire city. I also offer my deepest respect to each and every single martyr who laid down their lives while protecting this nation. We are truly grateful for your services. I look forward to the upcoming events. Really happy to meet such exceptional and wonderful people here. I convey my best wishes to the people of Maharashtra!"