“Need for court-monitored probe on Pegasus” Mamata Banerjee after meeting PM Modi

Seeks more vaccines & medicines for Bengal.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in Delhi. After the meeting, which was held for close to an hour, Banerjee said that she was in Delhi after two years, and it was a courtesy call to the PM after winning the Assembly election and forming the state government for three consecutive terms.

After the meeting, Banerjee told journalists that there should be a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the Pegasus scandal involving opposition leaders, two union ministers and several journalists revealed as potential surveillance targets using Israeli Pegasus spyware. Banerjee’s nephew, Trinamool’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was reported to be among the potential targets. Banerjee said that there should be an all-party meeting on the matter.

Before leaving for Delhi on Monday, Banerjee announced the formation of a panel comprising a former Supreme Court judge to investigate allegations of several persons in Bengal being targets.

Banerjee said after her meeting with the PM today that she has asked for more vaccines for Bengal, as it is a densely populated state and the requirement is more than some other states. She has also asked for more medicine supply for Bengal for COVID-19 treatment. She has also mentioned in the meeting the issue of changing the name of West Bengal, an issue that has long been pending for the state. Answering a question, the Bengal CM said that she has not mentioned the holding of the byelections in the state.

This is the first time the Bengal CM is meeting the Prime Minister in Delhi after the Bengal election. The last time Banerjee and Modi met was after the cyclone Yaas in May when they briefly met in Bengal’s Kalaikunda.

Earlier today, Banerjee met Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma. A meeting with Sonia Gandhi is scheduled tomorrow. Banerjee is in Delhi for three days and she is meeting several Opposition leaders. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are also expected to call on her.