Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today virtually rejected the demand of ally Mamata Banerjee for bypassing West Bengal government in disbursal of relief to cyclone victims, saying he would fully abide by the constitutional norms which guide the Centre-state relations.
"Mamata Banerjee is an honoured member of my Cabinet and we will work together as colleagues. But the relationship between the government of West Bengal, or for that matter any state, and the central government is governed by constitutional norms," Singh said.
"We will fully abide by constitutional norms which should guide the conduct of Centre-State relations," he told accompanying journalists while returning from Yekaterinburg in Russia after a three-day visit.
He was responding to the Trinamool leader's demand that the centre should bypass the Left Front government in West Bengal and directly disburse cyclone relief to local administration.