MEA dismissed Mamata Banerjee’s claims, says reports on denial of permission to visit Chicago not true

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday dismissed reports that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was denied permission to visit Chicago to attend the World Hindu conference. MEA Spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar confirmed that the government had not, in fact, received any request for clearance for her visit.

In response to a question on the reports, Raveesh Kumar said, “we did not receive any request for the clearance regarding the visit of Ms Mamata Banerjee to Chicago for the event. The reports about the denial of permission are, therefore, not true.”

The West Bengal supremo on Monday sharply making references to the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, described the cancellation of her proposed trip to Chicago as an “unholy conspiracy”.

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While addressing a gathering at Belur Math, the global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, to mark 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s historic speech at the Parliament of Religion, Chicago, Banerjee expressed disappointment over not being able to commemorate the occasion in the US.

Without taking names, Banerjee, took potshots at the Central government and said, “An unholy conspiracy was going on to stop me from visiting Chicago. It was an invitation from Ramakrishna Mission and I know that the Mission was threatened and pressurized to cancel the program. This incident created a permanent scar in my mind and I was very hurt,” she added.

The organisers of the event had, however, in a letter in June informed her that the scheduled programme was cancelled.

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