Bitter political rivals Shah, Mamata meet over lunch
Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patniak played host to Home Minister, Amit Shah; West Benga Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee; and Bihar Chief Minister, Nitesh Kumar on February 28. (Photo Courtesy: OdishaCM/Twitter)
Bhubaneswar, February 28 (IANS): Bitter political rivals, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday met for lunch here, courtesy Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
They met for the first time after the passage of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) for the 24th Eastern Zonal Council meeting in Bhubaneswar during the day.
Patnaik had hosted the lunch at Naveen Niwas, which was attended by Shah, Banerjee, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
"Such a pleasure having the company of Union Home Minister@Amit Shah ji, my colleague CMs, @MamataOfficial, @NitishKumar ji and Union Minister @dpradhanbjp ji at Naveen Niwas. Had a wonderfully interactive time over some home cooked #Odia delicacies," tweeted Patnaik.
Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon, who represented his state at the EZC meeting as Chief Minister Hemant Soren could not make it, did not join them.
Even though Mamata did not partake of a full lunch, she chose a yoghurt preparation.
"I don't eat lunch. I joined in the lunch in honour of respected Home Minister, and respected Naveenji," said Mamata.
Banerjee, a fierce critic of Shah, said she did not raise the issues of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), National Population Register (NPR) and the CAA at the council meeting.
"There was no discussion on NRC, NPR and CAA. These were not even on the meeting agenda. They never raised the issue, so we didn't raise it either. There was no discussion about law and order," said Banerjee.
She, however, raised the issue of violence in northeast Delhi at the beginning of the council meeting and requested for ensuring peace and harmony.
Mamata has already declared that the CAA will not be implemented in West Bengal, describing it as deeply divisive and discriminatory. The Bengal Assembly has also passed a resolution against it.
On the other hand, Shah attacked the West Bengal Chief Minister for her opposition to the CAA at a rally in Bhubaneswar during the day.
"BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party), SP (Samajwadi Party), Communists, Congress and Mamata Didi are against the CAA because they say the minorities will lose their citizenship. Why are they lying? CAA is a law to give citizenship, it is not meant to take anyone's citizenship away," Shah said.