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Didi reaches out to Modi for debtwaiver.

WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday handed over a seven- page memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for a waiver to the existing Central debts that the state government had incurred during the erstwhile Left Front government, sources said.

Banerjee reportedly mentioned the deductions of Central funds allocated to various Central government schemes to the state in the memorandum and the subsequent problems owing to that. The West Bengal CM also appealed to the PM to increase central funding of various schemes in West Bengal.

The duo held a closed- door meeting at the Raj Bhavan here late on Saturday evening which continued for over 20 minutes. They were also seen sharing the stage at an event where the PM launched Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana in the city.

They also met in the greenroom of the Nazrul Mancha auditorium during the occasion and had a short unscheduled one- on- one meeting, sources said.

Modi arrived in Kolkata on a two- day visit after his visit to Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh.

Both Banerjee and Modi will be flying in a helicopter from Howrah to Asansol on Sunday to attend an event at IISCO plant in Burnpur. The West Bengal CM is scheduled to see off the PM at the Andal airport -- a showcase venture of the state government that is set to be operational on May 18 this year.

Launching the schemes, Modi said, " Poor do not want ' sahara' ( support). We need to change how we think. The poor need ' shakti' ( power)... The poor need strength and the poor must live with dignity... We are calling the world to ' Make in India' and at the same time we are opening bank accounts for the poor... I told the poor- this nation, this government and our banks are for you." At the event, Banerjee emphasised on the point that about 1,000 panchayats in the state do not have access to banking service. She further pointed out that the Centre allocated ` 100 crore for Beti Padhao Beti Bachao. " Prime Minister will be happy to know we allocated ` 1,000 crore for the Kanyashree scheme only," the CM added.

In reply to Didi, Modi said, " Mamata ji is pointing this out in front of me as she knows if someone wants to do something in this regard then it is only me." Banerjee said that the Centre and the states should work together. " The Centre and states have to work together. That is when good of the Nation happens.

Let us dedicate this programme to the people of India... We must always work for the people," she said.

Later, PM Modi met ailing Ramakrishna Mission's president Swami Atmasthananda who has been undergoing treatment for age- related health complications at the Ramakrishna Mission Seva Prathishthan in the city. After that he headed out for the Raj Bhavan where the PM also met with a state BJP delegation.

WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee invited singer- turned Union minister of state for Urban Development Babul Supriyo in her car while coming out of the Raj Bhavan here. She also offered the first- time BJP MP from Asansol jhal- muri ( hot and spicy puffed rice) during the journey.

According to Babul, the CM was coming out of the Governor's house while he was standing there.

" My car was not there.

The CM asked me to get in. I could not say no to her because of political courtesy. While coming, she stopped her car and bought jhal- muri and she offered that to me," he said. Banerjee dropped Babul at a point where his car was waiting outside the Raj Bhavan.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:May 10, 2015
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