Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was invited to the inauguration of the Kolkata Metro station amid controversy

Kolkata Metro Railway says it has invited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to the inauguration of the Sealdah metro station on the east-west line, amid controversy.

Union Minister Smriti Irani is scheduled to inaugurate the station on Monday almost from Howrah.

A formal call has been sent to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and local TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay and TMC MLAs Naina Bandopadhyay and Paresh Paul, a Metro Railway spokesperson told PTI on Sunday.

The invitation has been received, but the Chief Minister will visit North West Bengal on Monday, State Secretariat source Nabanna said.

Attacking the BJP-led government at the centre, the ruling TMC said the “last-minute” call was prompted by public pressure.

“Metro realized its mistake at the last minute in the face of mounting public criticism. They knew about the Chief Minister’s visit to North Bengal but arranged the event so that he could not attend.” Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said.

He said that we want the service to start as planned in the interest of the people.

The Kolkata Metro Railway, the oldest in the country, is part of the Indian Railways, unlike metro systems in other parts of India, where state governments hold stakes in the operating companies.

The BJP said the Trinamool Congress had raised eyebrows over the issue, knowing that such official invitations would take time to reach the invitees.

“Still, none of our MLAs or MPs get invitations to official functions of the state government. Trinamool Congress party should hold a mirror for itself,” said BJP’s national vice-president Dilip Ghosh.

Business services will start on July 15 at Swanky Sealdah Metro Station, which connects the IT hub of Sector 5. It is part of the East-West Corridor, part of which is built under the Hooghly River. The new railway station will not only increase the ridership of the route but will also be a boon for people living in the suburbs to alight from local trains at Sealdah and reach the IT hub easily.

(With inputs from PTI)

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