North Korea says denuclearization not on negotiating table

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

North Korea says denuclearization not on negotiating table

Kim Song’s comments follow other recent North Korean statements indicating that prospects are dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the United States and North Korea.

WORLD Updated: Dec 08, 2019 07:26 IST

Associated Press
Associated Press

United Nation
North Korea said Saturday that denuclearization has “already gone out of the negotiation table” and it does not need to have lengthy talks with the United States
North Korea said Saturday that denuclearization has “already gone out of the negotiation table” and it does not need to have lengthy talks with the United States (AP)

North Korea said Saturday that denuclearization has “already gone out of the negotiation table” and it does not need to have lengthy talks with the United States as the end-of-year deadline set by its leader Kim Jong Un for substantial U.S. concessions in nuclear diplomacy looms.

A statement released by North Korea’s U.N. ambassador, Kim Song, accused the Trump administration of persistently pursuing a “hostile policy” toward the country “in its attempt to stifle it” and of using claims that the U.S. is engaged in a “sustained and substantial dialogue” with Pyongyang solely for “its domestic political agenda.”

“We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table,” he said.

Song’s statement was a response to Wednesday’s condemnation by six European countries of North Korea’s 13 ballistic missile launches since May. He accused the Europeans — France, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Poland and Estonia — of playing “the role of pet dog of the United States in recent months.” He called their statement “yet another serious provocation” against North Korea’s “righteous measures of strengthening national defense capabilities.”

“We regard their behavior as nothing more than a despicable act of intentionally flattering the United States,” Song said.

His comments follow other recent North Korean statements indicating that prospects are dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the United States and North Korea.

On Thursday, North Korea’s first vice foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, issued a warning threatening to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump and consider him a “dotard” if he keeps using provocative language, such as referring to North Korea’s leader as “rocket man.”

His statement via state media came days after Trump spoke of possible military action toward the North and revived his “rocket man” nickname for North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has ramped up its missile tests in recent months, and experts say the launches are likely to continue as a way to pressure Washington into meeting Pyongyang’s demand for new proposals to revive nuclear diplomacy by the end of December.

Diplomatic efforts have largely remained deadlocked since a second summit between Trump and the North Korean leader failed last February.

The North’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it is entirely up to the United States to choose what “Christmas gift” it gets from the North.

North Korean officials have previously said whether North Korea lifts its moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests depends on what actions the U.S. takes.

When Trump and Kim held their first summit in Singapore in June 2018, North Korea said it was willing to deal away its advancing nuclear arsenal in return for outside political and economic benefits.

Before the Singapore talks, North Korea had long said it would denuclearize only if the U.S. withdrew its 28,500 troops from South Korea, ended military drills with the South and took other steps to guarantee the North’s security.

But many foreign experts doubt whether North Korea would completely abandon a nuclear program that it has built after decades of struggle and sees as essential to its survival.

North Korea: DPRK makes ‘very important test’ at Sohae Satellite Launching Ground

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

DPRK makes ‘very important test’ at Sohae Satellite Launching Ground

Xinhua

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) carried out “a very important test” at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on Saturday afternoon, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

The DPRK’s Academy of National Defense Science reported the results of “the successful test of great significance” to the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the report said.

The test will “have an important effect on changing the strategic position of the DPRK once again in the near future,” the KCNA added without elaboration.

China: DPRK warns US against new military drills with South Korea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

DPRK warns US against new military drills with South Korea

Xinhua

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea gave a stern warning on Wednesday night against a planned joint military drill to be held by the United States and South Korea.

In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, an unnamed spokesman for the State Affairs Commission said the DPRK defined the joint military drill as the main factor for ratcheting up tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“Despite our repeated warnings, the US and the South Korean side decided to push ahead with the military drill,” he said.

He also said the latest joint military exercises “constitute an undisguised breach of the DPRK-US joint statement adopted on June 12 of last year on the basis of mutual trust and an open denial of the Singapore agreement.”

Seoul and Washington said last week that they would skip their annual joint air exercise, known as Vigilant Ace, and instead hold a scaled-back drill.

The DPRK spokesman said that the United States and South Korea have staged several military drills this year alone, and such acts have already put DPRK-US relations on the verge of a breakdown.

The first negotiations in eight months between the DPRK and the United States on the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula broke down in Stockholm in early October. The DPRK has set the end of the year as a deadline for Washington to offer a deal which is realistic and acceptable by Pyongyang.

The DPRK has issued several warnings in the past two months, saying it would be a mistake for the United States to ignore the year-end deadline and the channel of the dialogue between the two countries is narrowing.

6 Countries That Have Banned McDonald’s

(THIS  ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

6 Countries That Have Banned McDonald’s

As one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world, with over 37,000 locations worldwide, McDonald’s is pretty easy to find just about anywhere on the globe. However, it is absent in several countries, and that absence hasn’t always been a choice left up to McDonald’s. Here are six countries that have banned the fast-food mega chain.

Bermuda

Credit: wwing / iStock

This island paradise has had a ban on foreign fast-food restaurants since the 1970s. Despite this ban, however, there was a McDonald’s built in Bermuda in 1985 – on the U.S. Naval Air Station located on the island. When the base closed in 1995, the McDonald’s left with it.

Despite this setback, McDonald’s made another attempt to plant the golden arches in Bermuda in 1999. This time, however, the fast food ban was upheld, and the McDonald’s was never built.

Iran

Credit: silverjohn / iStock

Iran was home to a McDonald’s at one point, but the country began to distance itself from Western culture following the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Tense relations in the decades since make the prospect for a new location unlikely.

Should McDonald’s ever regain a foothold in Iran, however, they may find fierce competition. In their absence, an imitator chain known as Mash Donald’s has been selling burgers for years.

Bolivia

Credit: benedek / iStock

Bolivia is the only country in Latin America besides Cuba without a McDonald’s. While there is no outright ban on McDonald’s in Bolivia, the Bolivian people and government have not welcomed the burger franchise. In fact, there was a location in La Paz until 2002, but poor sales and pushback from locals, who expressed a desire to buy their burgers from locations not owned by an international business, forced the franchise to close.

After the location had closed, the former president of Bolivia stated that corporations like McDonald’s are “not interested in the health of human beings, only in earnings and corporate profits.”

North Korea

Credit: Omer Serkan Bakir / iStock

One of the least surprising countries to appear on this list, North Korea’s aversion to foreign interests has kept the country culturally insulated since the end of the Korean War.

While North Korea may have zero McDonald’s franchises, South Korea has over 850. This led to a famous incident in 2011 when North Korean elites used the national airline to smuggle McDonald’s burgers across the border.

Iceland

Credit: patpongs / iStock

There were three McDonald’s locations in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik until 2009. Unfortunately, the currency of Iceland, the krona, collapsed when the economy faltered, and all three closed their doors in rapid succession.

Iceland is one of the healthiest countries in the world, and the government has been wary of the consequences of allowing the fast food giant to re-establish itself. An Icelandic fast food chain has popped up in McDonald’s absence, serving locally-sourced meat and produce.

Montenegro

Credit: GoodLifeStudio / iStock

Government concerns about the impact of a McDonald’s franchise on the health of the population caused the closure of a small McDonald’s in the capital city of Podgorica. The local media supported the departure of the country’s only McDonald’s location, favoring the opportunity for local restaurants to serve the community.

However, the public relations department of the government of Montenegro refuted that claim. Stating that “no company, not even McDonald’s, is ‘forbidden’ to do business in Montenegro.” Despite that lukewarm welcome, however, there are still no McDonald’s location in Montenegro.

These are not the only countries without a single McDonald’s, however. There are dozens of countries without McDonald’s, primarily because the corporation has deemed the local economy or political environment too unstable to support a successful franchise. In fact, many economists consider the arrival of a McDonald’s franchise in a developing world an indicator of economic stability.

China, Trump And Tariffs: My Idea On How To Best Do The Tariffs

China, Trump And Tariffs: My Idea On How To Best Do The Tariffs

 

First, the government of China is no one’s friend just as Putin’s government in Russia nor is the fat little Rocket Man in North Korea. I know that statement will bring a rebuke from Mr. Trump who thinks these guys love him, but then again, he is possibly the world’s biggest idiot. I did not say that the people of these countries are ass-hats like their Leaders and Ours are. I have nothing against the people of these Countries, just their Leaders, and our Leaders.

 

Now, about those tariff’s, this is what I wish our government’s policies were toward China. Personally I believe that the whole world should stop buying anything that has to do with China as long as they have a Communists government in place who seems to think that everything on earth should be theirs to control, including all the land, oceans and air space. When anyone buys anything that is made in China you are feeding their military buildup that they will use to subjugate their own people and the people of the Nations around them.

 

But for a more doable emmediate tariff policy I believe the following approach should be adopted. Instead of having a trade war with China via tariff’s I believe that our government should only put tariffs on products that are coming into the U.S. from companies who have outsourced jobs that used to be here in our Country.  Including to China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico or any other Nation. For the purpose of an example let us use General Motors. If General Motors wants into the Chinese market for the purpose of making vehicles for the Chinese market I have no problem with that at all. But, if they take jobs away from our people and then want to sell in our market I believe that our government needs to put a 100% tariffs on all of those imports. Make it very un-profitable for the company to take away American jobs if they want to sell to our market. This program would keep American companies from closing factories here and it would force the companies who have closed shops here to reinvest in our Nation, not an enemy Nation like China.

 

As I said earlier, the people of China are not our enemy, but their government damn sure is. And, in my opinion, companies who have outsourced American jobs for the sole purpose of higher profits should be treated as enemies of the American people. If you have noticed, when a company closes shop here in the States and moves to a “cheaper” place to make their products they never ever lower the prices they sell their products for. If a company made a product here in the States and sold it for $20 then they close shop here and move to China they still sell the product for $20, the name of the game is all and only about profits, to hell with the people, they only want your money. We need to quit giving it to them. Force them to move back here, if they refuse then tariff the hell out of them and also sell all of their stock, don’t allow it to be sold on the U.S Stock Exchange, bankrupt their asses. If our Leaders really want to put America, then prove it!

July 4th-Welcome To Donald J Trump Day

July 4th-Welcome To Donald J Trump Day

 

About an hour ago I posted an article from the Chicago Tribune Newspaper written by Rex Huppke that I hope you have read. Today in Washington D.C. our elusterus President is going to throw a shindig to celebrate, himself. Of course this farce is being paid for with taxpayer funds, hopefully you are not surprised by being stuck with the bill or that this whole event will be about himself. Back on January 20th or 2017 when he was sworn into Office he stiffed the city of D.C. with the 52 million dollar overrun which he still has not paid. This so called military parade will do things like tear up the roads and bridges but thats okay, we get the honor of paying for it. Donald Trump has made a lifetime out of not paying his bills, why should this be any different? Even the current and former leaders of our military are against this ego trip but Mr. Trump is in love with, well, himself mostly, but he has stressed several times how he likes the military parades that only Dictators Like Mr. Putin and Kim Jong Un throw and the people should also only show up if they are smiling and waving, at himself, like they do in Russia and North Korea. If I am wrong about this parade being about ‘the Donald’ I will publicly apologize to you tomorrow. In the meantime, happy fourth of July folks, I hope that you and your loved ones are able to have a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday, or should I say “Donald dimwit day’?

Here Is The Reason Ivanka Trump Was Acting Like A Diplomat In North Korea

Here Is The Reason Ivanka Trump Was Acting Like A Diplomat In North Korea

(The idea for this oped came from two headlines I just read online, the headlines were from the Daily Beast and from CNN)

 

The headlines were asking why, why was Ivanka Trump acting like a diplomat and doing photo bombs while she was with her Dad at the DMZ last week, the following is my personal belief as to why. If you remember a couple of weeks ago when the President was in England all of the Trump kids were also trying to act as if they to were Royalty. I guess the first thing that we all need to realize is that the Trump clan has a major ego problem just like all totally phony people do. But I believe there is a very good ‘other’ reason why Ivanka is acting the part that she is playing and that is as her Daddy said a couple of years ago, he believes that she would make a great President. There is also the reality that if Daddy Trump can’t get the law changed to where he can be King until he dies or if he gets evicted and convicted he has an in place contingency plan in place. He plans on being President until at least January of 2025 then it would be his best option to keep him out of prison is for his daughter to be in place to pardon him. If Mike Pence thinks that the Donald will favor him over Ivanka for the 2024 elections then he is as stupid as the people of Indiana have told me that he is. The only way Pence becomes President is if Trump is impeached during his term and I would bet almost anything that Pence got the job as the VP was with the written clause that Pence choose Ivanka as his VP so that when Pence is finished with his term then Ivanka would be next in line. Keeping that ‘Royal Linage’ in tack. What we have all been seeing with Evanka will be sold to the rest of us that this is where she has gotten her qualifying foreign policy experience. Don’t laugh to much folks, do you remember how the former Governor of Alaska told us that she had experience dealing with Russia was because she could see Russia from her home porch? Also, do you remember how the habitual liar Hillary Clinton talked about her experience under live fire for the time her and their daughter Chelsea went to Bosnia? My question is simple, which is worse, idiots or frauds, or frauds who take us all to be idiots?

 

 

N. Korea: Kim to ‘seriously contemplate the interesting content’ in Trump’s letter

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Kim to ‘seriously contemplate the interesting content’ in Trump’s letter

AFP
Kim to 'seriously contemplate the interesting content' in Trump's letter

AFP

This undated picture released by DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency yesterday shows Kim Jong Un reading a letter from US President Donald Trump.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong Un received a personal letter of “excellent content” from US President Donald Trump, the country’s state media said yesterday.

Talks have stalled since the collapse of a second summit between the two leaders in February. The two sides have blamed each other for the breakdown but both have expressed a willingness to meet again, with Trump saying earlier this month that he had received a “beautiful letter” from Kim.

Yesterday, the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that Trump had written to Kim, who “said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content.”

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong Un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” KCNA said.

The report gave no further detail about the content of the letter or when it was sent and received.

In a statement, the White House confirmed that “a letter was sent by President Trump and correspondence between the two leaders has been ongoing.”

South Korea’s presidential Blue House said it was aware of the correspondence through its communication with Washington, and described the exchange as “positive.”

The KCNA report came just two days after Kim hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping, who wrapped up an official visit to the DPRK on Friday. Kim told Xi that his visit was an opportunity to demonstrate “the immutability and invincibility of the DPRK-China friendship before the world,” KCNA said.

Analysts say the DPRK’s apparently friendly overtures to Trump signaled that Pyongyang was ready to break the deadlock with Washington.

Trump and Kim held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore last year — the first-ever meeting between a DPRK leader and a sitting US president — where the pair signed a vaguely worded deal on denuclearization.

But in Hanoi this year, Washington accused Pyongyang of effectively demanding an end to all sanctions for partial disarmament, while the DPRK said it wanted some measures eased in return for closing all the nuclear facilities at its Yongbyon complex.

Since then, Pyongyang has accused Washington of acting in “bad faith” and given it until the end of the year to change its approach. The DPRK last month fired short-range missiles for the first time since November 2017.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said the written correspondence between the leaders was “very meaningful.”

“The letter diplomacy shows they are communicating even though there is a lull in talks,” Yang said.

This is not the first time the two leaders have opted for more traditional means of communication. Less than a month before the Singapore summit, Trump wrote to Kim to call it off, telling the DPRK leader not to “hesitate to call me or write.” And in September 2018, the White House said Kim sent a “very warm” letter to Trump seeking a second summit.

Xi’s DPRK visit writes new chapter of friendship, promotes peninsula stability

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS NETWORK ‘SHINE’)

 

Xi’s DPRK visit writes new chapter of friendship, promotes peninsula stability

Xinhua
Xi's DPRK visit writes new chapter of friendship, promotes peninsula stability

Xinhua

Xi Jinping (2nd L), general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese president, and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st L) pose for photos with Kim Jong Un (2nd R), chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and his wife Ri Sol Ju ahead of talks between the two leaders in Pyongyang, DPRK on June 20, 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a major diplomatic action that comes as the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century and the international situation is seeing complex and profound changes, a senior Chinese official said on Friday.

According to Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the visit, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and the DPRK, is also Xi’s first trip to the neighboring country since he became the Chinese president and general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, which bears key significance for the development of bilateral ties.

A new chapter for traditional friendship

The DPRK has attached a great importance to Xi’s visit and received the Chinese leader with grand and warm welcome, Song noted, saying that Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, welcomed Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at the airport, and accompanied the couple for various activities during the visit.

The two leaders had on multiple occasions conducted friendly, frank and in-depth exchanges, and have reached key consensus on writing new chapters for the China-DPRK friendship, and safeguarding peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, said Song.

During the visit, Xi has engaged a series of exchanges with officials and ordinary people in the country, while hundreds of thousands of residents in Pyongyang lined up the streets to welcome and later see off the Chinese president. Xi also watched a large group callisthenics and art performance, which was specially prepared for him.

Song said these have fully reflected a deep and profound friendship of the party, government and people of the DPRK towards the party, government and people of China, and demonstrated the vitality of the friendship between the two sides.

He also said Xi’s visit was a visit of friendship and peace, and has displayed China’s determination to stay committed to consolidating the traditional China-DPRK friendship, supporting the implementation of DPRK’s new strategic line and promoting a political solution to solving the nuclear issue in the peninsula.

The traditional friendship between the two countries has been forged and fostered by their elder generation of leaders, and the top leaders of the two sides have maintained a tradition to keep a close contact, said Song.

Xi’s trip, said Song, has realized not only the historical exchange of visits by the top leaders of the two parties and countries in such an important year as the one that marks the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and the DPRK, but also the 5th gathering between them in 15 months, adding that it will be a much-told story in the two countries’ high-level exchanges.

During the visit, Xi and Kim have conducted in-depth exchanges on furthering the development of the China-DPRK relationship, and have reached extensive major consensus, which helps draw a blueprint for the future of bilateral ties, Song said.

The Chinese president pointed out that the China-DPRK relationship has entered a new historical era, adding that the CPC and the Chinese government will stay firmly committed to maintaining, consolidating and nurturing the bilateral ties, and China is willing to work with the DPRK in creating a bright future for the relationship.

Song said the visit is a huge political support and encouragement for the party, government and people of the DPRK and has shown the world the unbreakable China-DPRK friendship, adding that both sides have agreed that they will step up high-level exchanges and strategic communication so as to promote an even greater achievement in the traditional friendship and the relations between the two parties and countries.

Xi's DPRK visit writes new chapter of friendship, promotes peninsula stability

Xinhua

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese president, holds talks with Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in Pyongyang, DPRK on June 20, 2019.

Strengthening governance experience exchange

During the visit, the two leaders exchanged in-depth views on the socialist construction of their respective countries, said Song, adding that Xi spoke highly of the positive achievements made by the DPRK in implementing its new strategic line.

Xi stressed that China firmly supports the DPRK in pursuing a development path in line with its national conditions, adding that China stands ready to deepen exchanges and mutual learning with the DPRK on party and state governance so as to push forward the socialist construction of the two countries.

Kim expressed deep gratitude to Xi, noting that the Chinese leader’s close attention to the DPRK’s socialist construction as well as its development in economy and livelihood has strengthened the confidence of the party and people of the DPRK in their cause, Song said.

Xi and Kim, Song said, jointly blueprinted in detail a future of the bilateral relationship and agreed to take commemorating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to expand practical cooperation and deepen friendly exchanges.

The two sides will conduct exchanges and cooperation in such fields as agriculture, tourism, education, health, sports, media, youth as well as at local levels, so as to improve the well-being of both peoples, Song said.

Injecting new vitality into political dialogue

On the Korean Peninsula issue, the two leaders had in-depth and candid exchange of views on the current situation in the peninsula as well as how to maintain the dialogue process, Song said.

The situation of the Korean Peninsula concerns regional peace and stability, Xi pointed out, calling it a right choice to resolve the issue through dialogue.

Xi also called for a strategic and long-term perspective to accurately guide the evolution of the situation and effectively maintain peace and stability in the peninsula.

During his visit, Xi spoke highly of the DPRK’s efforts to promote the denuclearization of the peninsula and re-launch the process of political settlement to the issue, stressing that China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with the DPRK and other related parties on the issue so as to safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

For his part, Kim thanked Xi for his positive remarks and said the DPRK will stay patient and control the situation to safeguard peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and create a favorable external environment for the DPRK’s development.

Kim said the DPRK hopes that the relevant party will work with the DPRK to seek solutions that accomodate each other’s legitimate concerns and push for results from the dialogue process, according to Song.

Mamata Banerjee trying to suppress her political opponents like Kim Jong-un: Giriraj Singh

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Mamata Banerjee trying to suppress her political opponents like Kim Jong-un: Giriraj Singh

Singh was talking to reporters at the party’s state headquarters upon his first visit to Bihar after being sworn in as a Union cabinet minister.

INDIA Updated: Jun 08, 2019 12:30 IST

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Patna
mamata banerjee,kim jong-un,west bengal
The countdown to the end of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rule has begun as she has been trying to suppress her political opponents with a ruthlessness comparable to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Union minister Giriraj Singh said in Patna on Friday.(REUTERS)

The countdown to the end of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rule has begun as she has been trying to suppress her political opponents with a ruthlessness comparable to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Union minister Giriraj Singh said in Patna on Friday.

Singh was talking to reporters at the party’s state headquarters upon his first visit to Bihar after being sworn in as a Union cabinet minister.

“Ulti ginti (countdown) has begun for Mamata Banerjee…fear of an imminent defeat has left her frustrated. The treatment she has been meting out to her political opponents remind us of King Jong-un,” the firebrand BJP leader alleged when asked about the running feud between his party and the Trinamool Congress headed by the West Bengal Chief Minister.

“She has been displaying contempt for the country’s federal structure. She has said that she refuses to acknowledge Narendra Modi was the Prime Minister of India and has never attended meetings of the Niti Aayog where Chief Ministers of all states turn up,” he said.

Banerjee had at an election rally last month defended her inability to take calls from Modi for discussing the devastation wrought by the Fani cyclone, saying he was an “expiry prime minister” and she would talk to the PM upon the formation of a new government at the Centre.

Earlier in the day, she caused a flutter by announcing that she would not attend the meeting of the Niti Aayog scheduled later this month terming it as “fruitless” and suggesting in a letter to the Prime Minister conveying her decision that focus be shifted to the Inter-State Council for deepening cooperative federalism.

Sidestepping queries about Banerjee seeking “professional help” from poll strategist-turned-politician Prashant Kishor who is also the national vice president of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), a BJP ally in Bihar, Singh said, “I do not know whose help she is seeking. But I am certain that she has ceased to get help from the common people of Bengal.” The BJP recorded a remarkable victory in West Bengal in the recent general elections as it ended up winning 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four less than the ruling TMC. The party’s tally soared from only two in 2014.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 08:35 IST

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