PM Modi On 2-Day Kolkata Visit, May Share Stage With Mamata Banerjee

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Kolkata on Saturday and Sunday for a packed weekend of inaugurations and celebrations but all eyes are on whether his path and that of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will cross at any time during his stay in the Bengal capital.
Ms Banerjee is one of the strongest critics of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) and has been holding regular protest meetings against the Centre’s new citizenship law.
Reports suggest she will call on the Prime Minister at Raj Bhavan where Mr Modi will be staying overnight.
However, one of Ms Banerjee’s senior-most ministers and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim has been assigned to receive the Prime Minister at the airport late afternoon Saturday.
A huge security arrangement is being put in place in view of protests threatened by numerous outfits against the Prime Minister over the new citizenship law. Plans include ‘Go Back PM’ demonstrations across the city, a road block near the airport and a dharna at Raj Bhavan.
The prime minister’s first engagement is the inauguration of four recently refurbished heritage buildings of Kolkata, including the Currency Building, Belvedere House, Metcalfe House and a Victoria Memorial Hall. The event will take place at the Old Currency building around 5:30 pm.
At 7 pm, PM Modi will go to Kolkata’s landmark Millenium Park on the banks of river Hooghly and kick off celebrations of 150 years of the Kolkata Port Trust, India’s oldest operational port. Ms Banerjee has been invited for the programme.
Sources say the most spectacular item the Prime Minister will inaugurate is new lighting for Kolkata’s iconic Howrah Bridge.
The prime minister’s office lists the upgradation of a ship repair facility, the inauguration of upgraded infrastructure for smooth cargo movement, mechanization of a berth at Haldia.
In a spill-over on Sunday of the Kolkata Port Trust celebrations, the Prime Minister will also open a Kaushal Vikas Kendra and Pritilata Chhatri Avas for 200 Tribal girl students in the Sunderbans.
Most poignant will be the felicitation of two Kolkata Port Trust pensioners who are both more than 100 years old. Nagina Bhagat and Naresh Chandra Chakraborty are 105 and 100 respectively.
The Prime Minister will also hand over a cheque of Rs 501 crore as final installment to meet the deficit of pension fund of retired and existing employees of the Kolkata Port Trust.
On Saturday evening, the prime minister may take a naval boat from Kolkata to Belur, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission.