The foreign ministry today clarified that Mamata Banerjee was not stopped by the government from visiting Chicago for the World Hindu Conference. It also stated that it in fact never received a request for approval.
On the other hand, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress termed the version of the ministry as “low on facts” and alleged that “pressure was mounted” on the organisers to cancel the event to which Banerjee was invited.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said, “I wanted to go to Chicago…. I could not go there because of an unholy conspiracy hatched by certain people. This incident has given me a lot of pain”.
Her party accused the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS wanted only one major programme to be done in Chicago during the conference.
Derek O’ Brien, Trinamool leader stated that the Vivekananda Vedanta Society had invited Mamata Banerjee and she had given her confirmation for her participation. He said, “Subsequently, it is learnt, that under ‘tremendous pressure’, the organisers were prevailed upon to cancel the programme. It is common knowledge that the BJP-RSS wanted only one major programme to be held in Chicago and that would be under the banner of the Global Hindu Congress (World Hindu Foundation) and this programme would be attended by Mohan Bhagwat…To ensure this happened, intense pressure was mounted on Vivekananda Vedanta Mission in Chicago to cancel the programme”.
External Affairs spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said that the government did not receive any request for clearance regarding Mamata Banerjee’s visit.
In response to questions, he said, “The reports about the denial of permission are, therefore, not true”.