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Featured Image: President Pranab Mukherjee and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2017 inauguration on Friday.

By A Newsmen

Kolkata, 20 January: PRESIDENT Pranab Mukherjee today reminded that the strength of India lies in “co-operative federalism” involving the Centre and the states and that there should be “no contradiction” on this.

The President put forward the observation after inaugurating the 3rd edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit at Milan Mela in Kolkata today, and the observation came at a time when the Bengal government has been accusing the Narendra Modi led Central government of infringing upon the powers of the state.

“When I received the invitation for the summit I thought whether I should attend it or not. Then I felt that India is a conglomeration of states and India’s essential strength lies in co-operative federalism. The country’s economic development is possible only when the states grow. There is no contradiction on this in a Constitutional framework,” the President said.

Mukherjee’s observation came even as despite being invited, not a single Union minister attended the event today.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, whose name featured in the invitation card, withdrew his participation only a few days ago due to a strained political relation between the Centre and the state post-demonetisation and over the recent arrest of state BJP vice-president Jayprakash Majumdar on charges of taking bribe.

Applauding the Mamata Banerjee government, the President congratulated the Chief Minister for setting aside the “legacies and baggage of the past” and is moving ahead despite the huge debt burden. The state’s GDP has remarkable improved in the past few years with increase in revenue generation, he said.

“Bengal has truly emerged as an investment destination which is evident from the attendance of representatives from as many as 29 countries in this summit,” the President said.