Kolkata: Trinamul Congress MLA Jitendra Tiwari, who is also the chairman of the board of administrators at the Asansol Municipal Corporation, has skipped the meeting with urban development minister Firhad Hakim on Tuesday in Calcutta amid murmurs that he was distancing himself from the party.
The meeting was urgently called by Hakim and Trinamul’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor was scheduled to be present. Tiwari, who is also Trinamul’s West Burdwan district president, shot off a letter to Hakim, saying the city (Asansol) had lost out on central funds because of the state government’s refusal to be part of the Smart City Mission for “political reasons”.
Sources close to Tiwari said he wanted to discuss the issues only with chief minister Mamata Banerjee once she returned to Calcutta after her visit to north Bengal.
Both Tiwari and Firhad got involved in a war of words over the letter.
Sources said Tiwari and Bengal housing minister Aroop Biswas had a brief telephonic conversation on Monday after the letter triggered a controversy.
“Aroop Biswas called up Tiwari on Monday evening and asked him to say whatever he wanted to Mamata Banerjee. He also assured him of arranging a five-minute meeting with the chief minister to discuss the matter,” said Trinamul leader in Asansol who is close to Tiwari.
Sources said Tiwari had been asked to be in Calcutta on December 18 to meet the CM.