Kolkata, May 1: Heaping praise on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday asserted he is a "strong BJP man" and wished his party would be in power in the state in the future.
"I am a strong BJP man and I would always... 1000 times... say that BJP should grow here... that BJP should be in power here one day and I am sure that will happen one day. When that will happen I don't know, but we are striving to have it as early as possible," he told the media here.
He was visiting the Indian Association For the Cultivation of Science.
During his address, Harsh Vardhan referred to Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, as "dynamic" and as a "fighter."
"As for Mamata ji, the whole country knows she is a fighter and the way she fought her way up to that position in which she is and she certainly has some good qualities which should be appreciated but we should not get into politics in everything.
"After all we are all working for the people and inspite of the fact that we are working for different political parties we should not cross the laxman rekhas (limits)," he said.
The minister said he would pay a "courtesy" call to the chief minister during his stay in Kolkata.
"There is nothing political in this.The agenda of the meeting is not to congratulate her. If she has done something successfully and I meet her and offer congratulations, then what is so unusual about it," he asked.
Harsh Vardhan said he would take up some issues regarding extension of the IACS campus on a 30-acre plot in Baruipur in the suburbs.
"There is a genuine need for this institute to grow not only terms of its quality of research but also its geographical boundaries. Some processes are already on but there are some bottlenecks. I have requested an appointment with the CM and if I get a chance I will request her personally also to pay a little more attention to this institute and some of the related issues," he said.
According to IACS sources, the development fee for the Baruipur plot is a hefty Rs.30-31 crore and the institute has paid Rs.14 crore to the state government. The authorities want the remaining Rs. 16 crore to be either waived or taken care of by the central government.