Bhagabanpur: Amidst strains between
the two allies, Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee on Friday
shared a dais at a programme where the Union Finance
Minister showered praise on West Bengal Chief Minister for her
initiative for a flood control project.
Lauding her as `jananetri" (mass leader), Mukherjee
said here in East Midnapore district that she had the power to
attract people. "Wherever she goes, people throng the venue."
Praising Banerjee for finding a permanent solution for
flood control measures fulfilling a long-standing demand of
the people in the district, Mukherjee said she was present
despite running a temperature.
Strains had appeared in the relations between the
Congress and Trinamool Congress over various issues including
allocation of central funds for West Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress, a key UPA ally had also
joined the Opposition chorus against Union Minister Beni
Prasad Verma for his minority sub quota remarks in poll-bound
Uttar Pradesh and had even approached the Election Commission
on the issue.
Mukherjee said, “During monsoon, people residing in the
area are affected by flood every year. In the 2010-11 budget
when Banerjee was the railway minister and Bengal was in the
cusp of a political change, I had announced that prevention of
erosion of major rivers like Keleghai-Kopaleshwari and
Padma-Ganga will be taken up as a national programme."
He said that the flood control measures of the three
rivers of Keleghai, Kopaleshwari and Baghai would cost Rs 650
"The Centre will provide 75 per cent of the cost and
the state the rest. The project will be completed in three
years," he said.
In the presence of Mukherjee and Union Water
Resources minister Pawan Bansal, Banerjee who sought special
funds from the Centre to overcome the financial crunch, said,
"Despite paucity of funds, we are keeping up development
activities and new projects are being taken up."