Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on her decision to attend the G20 gala dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu, asking if that would not weaken her position against the Narendra Modi-led government. The West Bengal Congress president was also curious whether there was “any other reason” behind the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo taking part in the dinner programme.

Chowdhury’s Query and TMC’s Response

Meanwhile, the TMC took a swing back at Chowdhury saying — Banerjee is one among the prime movers behind the INDIA bloc — he did not need to chide her about protocols that are to be followed from the administrative point of view. “When many non-BJP CMs refrained from attending the dinner, Didi (Mamata Banerjee) went to Delhi a day in advance. She attended the occasion with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the same room,” the Congress leader said.

Taking a jibe at her presence at the dinner, the Congress leader as quoted by India Today said, “Nothing would have happened if she hadn’t attended the dinner. The sky would not fall. Mahabharata would not have become impure. The Quran would not have been impure.” “I wonder what prompted her to rush all the way to Delhi to be in the dinner party along with these leaders,” added Chowdhury.

The TMC chief arrived in Delhi on Friday for the dinner party that was scheduled for Saturday. “Is there any other reason behind her attending the occasion?” questioned Chowdhury.

In response to his statements, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said that everyone knows Mamata Banerjee is one of the architects behind INDIA and no one can question her commitment.

BJP’s Reaction

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said that the Congress and CPI(M) joined hands with the Banerjee-led TMC in Delhi against the saffron camp, deceiving the state’s people who were “victims of the TMC’s terror”. “The Congress itself has joined hands with the corrupt TMC in Delhi. It is the BJP which has remained vocal against the corruption of TMC leaders. ED and CBI are raiding against them. The BJP is with the people of Bengal. So, people like Adhir Chowdhury should explain who is actually cosying up to TMC and doing a disservice to the people of the state,” Bhattacharya said.

Flight Rescheduling

However, Banerjee’s flight — originally scheduled for Saturday — was rescheduled to Friday after the flight plans were regularised in view of the security measures taken for the G20 Summit in the national capital.

Siddaramaiah’s Opinion

Meanwhile, the Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said that Congress National President Mallikarjun Kharge not being invited to the G20 dinner was “wrong”. “He (Kharge) is not only the Congress President, he is the leader of opposition in the upper house (Rajya Sabha). According to me he should have been invited, not inviting him is wrong,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Hubballi. He further said that he would not attend the dinner either citing other commitments.

Though Kharge and other opposition leaders were not invited to the dinner, Union Ministers and Chief Ministers, including that of states ruled by opposition parties, received invites for the dinner hosted by President Murmu.

G20 Summit Conclusion

The G20 Summit successfully concluded on Sunday in the national capital after prime minister Narendra Modi handed over the G20 presidency to the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. (With inputs from PTI)

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