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Calcutta on Vajpayee radar

Calcutta, July 2: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani will visit the city within nine days of each other on July 15 and July 6, respectively.

While Vajpayee will be coming to inaugurate a programme of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce on its 150th year, Advani will participate in a function to mark the 103rd birth anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee at Netaji Indoor Stadium.

State home secretary Amit Kiran Deb said Delhi has informed the government that the Prime Minister will arrive here in the afternoon of July 15 to attend the function the next morning. “The Prime Minister has no other engagement in the city besides attending the programme at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will receive Vajpayee at the airport and share the dais with him at the chamber programme. The Prime Minister will be visiting the city for the first time since the 2001 Assembly election.

Trinamul Congress sources said Mamata Banerjee will call on Vajpayee to apprise him of the CPM’s “terror tactic” during the panchayat and municipality elections. “Since Vajpayee will be in town, we will have to seek an appointment with him to inform him how the ruling CPM is gagging the Opposition in Bengal,” said Trinamul general secretary Mukul Roy.

Mamata will also meet Advani when he is in town.

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