Mamata’s Chicago Visit: TMC Opposes MEA Statement


Kolkata: Trinamool’s Rajyasabha member Derek O’brien on Thursday released a press release highlighting the post of United States Consulate General.

Derek O’brien said,”US Consulate General to Kolkata was happy as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed interest to visit America. Reportedly, she will highlight the economical and industrial prospectus with United States. Thus the knowledge will be improved.”

TMC spokesperson has stated in the Press release that, “Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, on the occasion of 125 years of the historic address by Swami Vivekananda, had invited Mamata Banerjee to attend a programme in Chicago. The Chief Minister of West Bengal confirmed her participation to them. Subsequently, it has also been reported that under ‘tremendous pressure’ the organizers were prevailed upon to cancel the programme. It is in news that the BJP-RSS likely to organise a major programme in Chicago and that would be under the banner of the Global Hindu Congress (World Hindu Foundation) and this programme would be attended by Mohan Bhagwat.”

As per the US Consulate office version, “The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata is pleased to hear that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is interested in visiting the United States as there have been no visits by a Chief Minister from West Bengal in many years. The Chief Minister’s visit would be a good opportunity for her to highlight the possibilities in the economic and trade relationship with the United States and to experience America first hand. At this stage there have been no discussions with the U.S. Consulate General regarding the Chief Minister’s possible visit.”

To ensure this happened, intense pressure was mounted on Vivekananda Vedanta Society in Chicago to cancel the programme for which Mamata Banerjee had confirmed. Subsequently, the programme was cancelled. The external affairs department has dismissed the visit of Mamata Banerjee to Chicago on the completion of 125th birth anniversary of Vivekanada’s Chicago speech.

External Affairs Spokesperson Ravish Kumar said that, “No application has reached the external affairs office asking fpor clrearence for Chicago visit. So the allegation has no background. Centre-state ignited another tussle on this.