New Delhi, Sept. 22: Rebel Trinamul Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay today paid a visit to deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani to thank him for a central sanction of Rs 2.5 crore for the restoration of Swami Vivekananda’s birthplace in Calcutta.
Bandopadhyay, whose induction into the Union council of ministers was scuttled at the last minute after party president Mamata Banerjee raised objections, however, said “no politics was discussed” at the meeting that lasted over half an hour.
“I came to thank Advaniji for his continuous support to this important project. Finance minister Jaswant Singh has said another Rs 4 crore is likely to be sanctioned for this project in the next fiscal,” Bandopadhyay said after the meeting at Advani’s official residence.
He said a Rs 20-crore cultural and research centre would also be set up next to Swami Vivekananda’s Simla Street house, which falls in Bandopadhyay’s Lok Sabha constituency.
The Ramakrishna Mission, which is spearheading the project, has already received the cheque of Rs 2.5 crore, while Bandopadhyay has contributed Rs 25 lakh from his MP fund. The Planning Commission has granted Rs 3 crore for the project.
“I expressed my gratitude to Advaniji for his support not only to this project but also to another one in my constituency — that of beautification of ghats and their surroundings along the Ganga,” he said, adding that the shipping ministry, the Kolkata Port Trust and the railway ministry have taken steps towards its implementation.