Kolkata: Sparking off a controversy, the US Monday claimed that the issue of increasing US investment in West Bengal, including in the retail sector, was touched upon by visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The statement came hours after Banerjee categorically told media persons that the issue of FDI in retail did not figure in her deliberations with Clinton.

"Touching on issues, ranging from increasing US investment in West Bengal, including the retail sector, US-India relations, regional affairs and strong people-to-people connections, the secretary reaffirmed to the chief minister the US desire to work with India and West Bengal to deepen and broaden our partnership," the statement released by the US consulate here said.

Contradicting the US version, the West Bengal government Monday night said Clinton had not referred to FDI in retail during her meeting with Banerjee.

In a strongly worded communication to the US consul general in Kolkata, Dean Thompson, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra urged him "unequivocally and strongly that the mention of investment in retail sector be avoided in your press statement".

Arguing that Clinton, "did not mention FDI in retail when speaking to the chief minister", Mitra said "there was no further discussion on this specific subject at all".


Latest news from India News Desk