As Didi deflects questions on tie-up, BJP says no olive branch offered

Mamata BanerjeeWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (IE Photo: Partha Paul)

As Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi sought to reach out to her, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday deflected questions on the possibilities her party's tie-up with BJP. "Whatever I have come to know, he (Modi) appreciated the government....political differences could be there but a government's work can be appreciated by anyone," she said.

Mamata was asked to respond to the praise heaped by Modi at her government at a programme in Kolkata today. In reply to a question on suggestions on a tie-up with BJP, she said the "Planning Commission is not a political centre. It is a development and economic centre." Mamata was at the Planning Commission to discuss her state's annual plan allocation.

Meanwhile, the Bengal unit of the BJP, also distanced itself from the Modi's overtures to the Trinamool saying sympathising with Mamata did not mean extending olive branch to her.

"Some (TV news channels) channels are showing that Modi has extended an olive branch to Mamata. But the fact is Modi has sympathised with the views of Mamata and shown sympathy towards the condition of the state. In no way it means extending an olive branch to Mamata," said Tathagata Roy, BJP's national executive member.

In a lighter vein, he said the media was not interested in the growth of Gujarat and was more interested in Mamata-Modi comparison.

Earlier in the day, Modi said the media was waiting for him to make a comment which would lead to comparisons between Gujarat and West Bengal, but he was "not here for that".

The state unit of the BJP has in the recent days upped its attack on the Trinamool government in the state and even filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court for scrapping the government's notification of panchayat polls.

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