Mamata fits new bulbs in streetlights for Hillary

Time magazine has listed these two women as two of the most influential people in the world. And tomorrow, the two will meet face to face for the first time in Kolkata. As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to meet West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tomorrow, discussions on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and India-Bangladesh ties are expected to be high on the agenda.

Clinton arrives for her second visit to Kolkata today.

Speculation is rife that Hillary — who is to meet Banerjee just a day after her meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina — will raise the issue of the Teesta Water Treaty between India and Bangladesh, which was sent into cold storage due to Banerjee’s opposition last year. According to senior officials of the US administration, discussions over India-Bangladesh ties and trade ought to come up in the discussions, as West Bengal will be the main beneficiary of strong India-Bangladesh ties.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was supposed to sign the Teesta treaty during his trip to Dhaka last year. But the signing was scrapped following Banerjee’s last minute opposition to the quantum of water to be shared with Bangladesh.

Discussions over US investment in West Bengal will also be on the discussion table.

“This would be a good opportunity to discuss potential investment in fields like IT or biotech where land requirement is comparatively less,” said political analyst Sabyasachi Roychowdhury.

Street lamps in and around the Writers’ Buildings and governor’s house have been fitted with new bulbs.

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