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Nancy Powell likely to meet Mamata on February 21 or 22

U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell is likely to meet West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee later this month.

The party website said on Friday that Ms. Powell “has sought a meeting with Ms. Banerjee. A letter from her office reached Nabanna, the State Secretariat. The West Bengal government has sought a formal clearance from the Union Ministry of External Affairs.”

The meeting is likely to take place on either February 21 or 22.

The Ambassador met BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday.

Ms. Powell had earlier met Ms. Banerjee on September 23, 2012, at Writers’ Buildings, four months after the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, met her at the same venue.

Though the meeting with the Ambassador was termed “routine,” it came just days after the Trinamool Congress withdrew support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government against foreign direct investment in retail. Ms. Powell had invited Ms. Banerjee to visit the U.S.

The meeting between the two, if held as per schedule, is significant as it comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, and after Ms. Banerjee has called for establishing a “federal front” to remove the UPA government.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, too, held a meeting with Ms. Banerjee in November last and invited her to London. 

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