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Mamata Banerjee to attend G20 Summit dinner

IANS | September 06, 2023 11:44 AM

KOLKATA: Despite strongly objecting to the use of “Bharat” in the invitation letter from Rashtrapati Bhawan for the G20 Summit dinner, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be attending the event on Saturday night.

Sources from the state cabinet said Banerjee has taken the decision to attend the dinner meet after consulting the leader of some of the other constituents of INDIA alliance, who also confirmed their presence at the event.

“Another reason why the Chief Minister has decided to attend the G20 dinner is that the meet will give her the opportunity to meet and have an interaction with the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion, " a cabinet member said.

“Both of them maintain an extremely cordial relationship at personal level. Hence on being informed that Sheikh Hasina will be present at the dinner the Chief Minister took the decision to attend it."

On Tuesday, Banerjee launched a scathing attack against the Centre and BJP over the use of “Bharat” instead of “India” on the invitation letter, saying that it was a blatant attempt to distort the country’s history.

“I heard that today they have changed the name of ‘India’ to Bharat’. This is a blatant attempt to distort the history of the country. They are always trying to do this. But it is not acceptable to us, ” she said while addressing a function on the occasion of the Teachers’ Day here on Tuesday afternoon.

However, political observers feel that there was yet another reason behind the Chief Minister’s decision to attend the dinner meet.

“The dinner meet will give her an opportunity to informally meet the leaders of other constituents of the INDIA alliance. So in a way she will have the opportunity for a dress rehearsal before the next round of the official meeting of the INDIA alliance which is supposed to be at the national capital only, ” said a city- based political observer.

Banerjee will reach Delhi on Saturday morning and return to Kolkata the next day.

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