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Oppn dubs EZC meet 'Samjhauta baithak', wonders why Mamata reached Odisha 4 days before

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Press Trust of India Kolkata
Opposition parties in West Bengal on Friday dubbed the Eastern Zonal Council (EZC) meeting as "Samjhauta baithak" between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, where major issues like CAA-NRC-NPR were not discussed.
Besides, the parties wondered why Banerjee reached Bhubaneswar on Tuesday while the EZC meeting was scheduled on Friday.
"This is nothing but a samjhautha baithak (meeting of understanding) where they have a reached a consensus of live and let live, eat and let eat," Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said while participating in a rally to protest against the Delhi violence.
Shah and Banerjee do not have any difference now and that is why no discussion was held on contentious issues of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the proposed nationwide NRC and the National Population Register in the meeting, he claimed.
"When the entire country is asking for the resignation of Shah for the Delhi violence, Mamata has gone to attend the meeting in Bhubaneswar. There was no discussion on the violent situation in Delhi nor about the security of the thousands of students from West Bengal staying there," Chowdhury said.
Banerjee, however, said she raised the issue of violence in Delhi in the meeting.
Presided over by the Union home minister, the 24th meeting of the EZC comprising Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal was held in Bhubaneswar on Friday.
The meeting was attended by chief ministers of Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar. Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon represented his state.
Chowdhury claimed that Shah and Banerjee only talked about the cyclones -- Bulbul and Fani -- at the meeting, which was not the appropriate forum.
The TMC should have taken up the matter before the Union budget, he added

"Will Shah create a new budget for Mamata Banerjee now?" asked Chowdhury, who had requested the TMC chief not to attend the EZC meeting in the wake of the Delhi violence.
"A few days ago, Sonia Gandhi ji had invited her to a meeting of secular anti-BJP parties in New Delhi, but she did not attend that. She does not go to New Delhi even if the prime minister calls her. She had skipped the National Development Council meeting. But she went to Bhubaneswar four days before. I do not see any logic behind this," he said.
Questioning who benefited from this meeting, West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra said Banerjee sat with Shah at the meeting, "whom she had once called a murderer".
Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty alleged that Banerjee held a one-on-one meeting with Shah to protect her nephew -- TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee -- from the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
"Why are you (Banerjee) sitting there for four days? What's the logic? The official meeting was today, but earlier, there was private one-on-one meeting (between Banerjee and Shah) to shield her nephew Abhishek Banerjee," he said.

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First Published: Feb 28 2020 | 9:14 PM IST

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