Ahiran (West Bengal): A day after meeting Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to secure her support on the 2G spectrum scam, Finance Minister and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday lauded West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for his developmental work.
"Buddhadeb babu always extends his helping hand in development projects. He has helped in bringing the Aligarh Muslim University campus here too," Mukherjee said at the foundation stone laying function of the AMU campus in Suti-I block of Murshidabad district.
The Finance Minister also endorsed Bhattacharjee`s remarks that it was CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member Moinul Hassan who had first broached the idea of setting up an AMU campus in Murshidabad, after learning that the university was looking to set up centres in other parts of the country as well.
"It is through our joint efforts that we have been able to move forward on the project and lay the foundation stone today," Mukherjee said.
Bhattacharjee too did not hesitate in praising the Finance Minister.
Describing Mukherjee as "our respected leader", Bhattacharjee said he had written to the Prime Minister as soon as he got to know of AMU`s expansion plans.
"And of course, I contacted Pranabda, and told him without your help we can`t go ahead," he said.
The function was held some 60 kms from Baharampur, headquarters of Murshidabad district, a backward and the only Muslim majority district of the state.
Pranab Mukherjee on late Friday hosted key UPA ally and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee at his south Kolkata residence to secure her party`s support on the 2G spectrum scam.
After the meeting, Banerjee had reiterated her party`s support to the Prime Minister. "We were with the Prime Minister. We are with the Prime Minister. We will be with the Prime Minister. We will meet the challenges of the opposition unitedly in parliament," she said.
Banerjee is gearing up to throw a formidable challenge to the CPI(M) led Left Front (LF) government - which has been ruling the state uninterruptedly since 1977 - in the assembly polls next year.
Trinamool, in fact, has issued a directive to its leaders not to attend functions where LF ministers would be present, an indication of their animosity.
However, the Trinamool has on several occasions expressed its unhappiness with Mukherjee for attending programmes alongside LF ministers, particularly Bhattacharjee, and lauding the state government for its development work.
Mukherjee, on his part, has steadfastly claimed that development should be kept away from political battles.