West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday inaugurated a rail over bridge at Kamarkundu in Hooghly district, in the process deepening the spat between Trinamool and BJP.
The incident triggered a war of words between the Trinamool and the BJP, with the opposition BJP pointing out that she had not invited any representative of Indian Railways which shared the cost of the bridge, and the Trinamool countering that the Central Government too had ignored West Bengal representations at inauguration of projects which were funded by both.
“When I was the railway minister, I had proposed this project. I have also sanctioned several other projects during that period. The state government has provided both land and money for the project…We are also coming up with a new project for better connectivity between South Bengal and North Bengal,” She said while inaugurating the project remotely.
Ms Banerjee was Union Railway minister twice – once during the 1999-2004 NDA government and then again in 2009-2011 during the Congress led UPA-2 regime.
On Thursday, a railway official said that the railways had provided Rs 26.7 crore of the total Rs 44.86 crore cost of the project, while the West Bengal government’s share was Rs 18.16 crore.
BJP was quick to point out that she had ignored the Centre, despite taking funds from it for the project.
“Banerjee, who has always complained about federal structure being destroyed, did not invite any central government representative during the inauguration of the Kamarkundu road flyover. She has put her own sticker on the whole project … who is destroying the federal structure?” BJP state general secretary Locket Chatterjee tweeted.
Reacting sharply to her comments, TMC chief spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Ray pointed out the BJP had been doing just that – shutting out West Bengal government representatives from project related function which were jointly funded.
“There have been several occasions where union ministers have come to Bengal and inaugurated projects, where the state government too had pumped in funds, but neither the chief minister nor the concerned minister was invited,” Ray said, adding, “The chief minister was well within her rights to inaugurate the project. The state government has provided both land and money for the project.” He said the BJP should stop talking about courtesy as it is “the saffron camp which has destroyed the culture of courtesy in politics,”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)