The name of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is missing from the invitation of the inauguration of Phase I of East-West Metro corridor between Salt Lake Sector-V to Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday. Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Babul Supriyo have been invited for the inauguration ceremony.
West Bengal minister for Fire and Emergency Services Sujit Bose, MP Krishna Bose and Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar were invited to attend the programme by the Centre. However, the trio will not attend the event in protest against CM Banerjee not being invited.
According to sources, Chief Secretary Rajiv Sinha has also not been invited for the event.
However, metro officials have said that they sent a letter of invitation to CM Mamata Banerjee on February 12 (Wednesday) and metro officials went to the Secretariat itself on Thursday. They added that the CM's Secretary has accepted the invitation letter. It was said that the invitation was sent to CM Banerjee on the instructions of Goyal.
In the wake of this, the Trinamool Congress camp has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of indulging in politics on this matter. But BJP leader Mukul Roy reminded the TMC pointed out that history is being repeated. He said that during the inauguration of the metro from Tollygunge to Gariya Bazar, when Banerjee was the Railway Minister, the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was not invited.
In 2009, when Banerjee was the Railway Minister, it was decided to extend the four-km-long metro line but the invitation was not sent to Bhattacharya and Banerjee herself inaugurated. During that time, Left party chairman Biman Bose had alleged that Banerjee is doing political programs with the money of the government.
Roy said, "Now Mamta Banerjee must have remembered that this history is being repeated." He also added that in 2009, no invitation was sent to anyone, neither any representative of the state government was present and a lot of politics was done on this incident. That day, the Left parties also turned against the Centre, he added.
The 5.7-kilometre-long metro line will run on its first phase and will cover six metro stations as of now. A list of metro fares has been put in all the metro stations. A special phone has been arranged in the platform, through which passengers will be able to talk directly in the control room during an emergency.
The platforms have also been provided with a screen door and when the train arrives, the screen door will open at the same time as the metro doors, due to which one cannot attempt suicide and after that, they will be able to enter the metro train.