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Mamata meets Governor

Special Correspondent

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief to meet Mamata on Monday



A supporter touches the feet of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as she walks to the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on Friday.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday met Governor M.K. Narayanan for close to an hour on Friday. In her inimitable style, she got off her car just opposite the North gate of the Raj Bhavan and crossed the road on foot amid cheering crowds.

While Ms. Banerjee had said that she would maintain regular contact with the Governor, perhaps on a weekly basis, Friday's meeting was significant in that it coincided with her completion of eight days in office. The Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance swept into power on May 13 and its Ministry took oath of office on May 20.

Ms. Banerjee, who had been holding regular interactions with the press at the State Secretariat over the last eight days, was comparatively taciturn on Friday. She declined to speak to the press after her return from the meeting she described as routine. Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh was also present for sometime during the meeting.

Last Friday too, immediately after the swearing-in, Ms. Banerjee was closeted with the Governor for a short while after the tea-session.

At a press conference later, she said she had gone to seek his permission for walking to the State Secretariat as the roads were choc-a-bloc with people wanting to see and greet her and it was impossible for her to drive through that crowd.

The Chief Minister has started her work in right earnest, asking her Ministers to commence their work without much ado. She held two Cabinet meetings and made a slew of announcements although the issue of land return at Singur occupies centre-stage.

She has announced a major hike in a development package for north Bengal and leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha met her on Thursday saying that while they support her, they will not budge from their statehood demand. Their chief Bimal Gurung is slated to meet Ms. Banerjee on Monday and it is possible that she discussed this issue with the Governor.

As for the law and order situation, political violence continues and it has been decided to retain the 140 companies of Central forces for an indefinite period.

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