Mamata requests govt not to join the meeting of union leaders to complete white paper on concurrent elections

West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suspended herself on Tuesday from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned conference with political party leaders in Delhi on Wednesday, requesting the Center to create a white paper on ' one country, one vote, ' rather than ' hastily. ' Modi has invited the heads of all the political parties that have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya Sabha for a meeting on June 19 to discuss several issues, including the "one nation, one election" idea, celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year.

It will be followed by a dinner-meeting with all the MPs on June 20. In a letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, Banerjee has said the matter of "one country, one election" required consultations with experts. "A proper response on such a sensitive and serious subject like "one country, one election" in such a short time would not do justice to the subject. The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, election experts and above all, the party members. "Instead of doing the matter hurriedly, I would request you to kindly circulate a white paper on the subject to all political parties, inviting their views by providing adequate time. If you only do so, we will be able to give concrete suggestions on this important subject," she wrote in the letter.

She did not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi either. Her decision is being seen in the political circle as an outcome of the heightened tussle between the TMC and the BJP in West Bengal. Buoyed by its victory in 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the recently-concluded election, only four less than the TMC's 22, BJP leaders have been claiming that they will overthrow the Mamata Banerjee government in the 2021 state Assembly polls. The West Bengal chief minister's decision not to attend the NITI Aayog meeting drew sharp reactions from the BJP, which accused her of not being serious about the development of the state. Reacting to the development, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said Banerjee was yet to recover from her defeat in the parliamentary polls and was making excuses to avoid any meeting convened by the Centre or the saffron party.

Leave a Reply