After cremating mother, PM Narendra Modi virtually flags off infra projects for West Bengal | Kolkata News

KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually flagged off a host of infra projects, designed to add speed to Bengal and Kolkata, immediately after his mother’s cremation in Gandhinagar on Friday as West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and a host of other CMs physically attended the programmes at Howrah and the naval base off Garden Reach.
An unseemly controversy, resulting from “Jai Sri Ram” slogans from a section of the crowd waving BJP flags on Howrah station’s platform 23, prompted Banerjee to refuse to take her place on the dais. The Bengal CM chose to address the audience from the front row of the platform-level seating area and thanked Modi for attending the event virtually despite his mother’s death a few hours earlier.
“Your mother was our mother also. I remember my mother. May God give you the strength to continue your work. Today is a sad day for you personally and it is a great loss. May God bless you so that you can love your mother through your action and activity. Please take rest as you are coming directly from the crematorium,” Banerjee told Modi.
PM Narendra Modi performs last rites of his mother Heeraben
“Please cut short the programme,” she added, prompting the PM to respond with folded hands.
Modi started his address seeking “forgiveness” for his inability to attend the programme physically. “I was supposed to come but could not due to personal reasons. I seek forgiveness from the people of Bengal,” he said.
He then spoke of a host of projects worth Rs 7,600 crore, designed to boost Bengal’s transport infra and clean up the Ganga in the state, while inaugurating the maiden run of Bengal’s first Vande Bharat.
“Bengal’s people, unique in their patriotism, are the foremost in trying to discover India when people from many other states seek to visit other countries. Bengal’s people put the nation first even in tourism,” the PM said, stressing how India was rapidly modernising its transport infrastructure, adding “speed to its railways fleet and “upgrading railway stations to the level of airports.”

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