The TMC supremo also skipped a Niti Aayog meeting last week. She also did not attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
New Delhi: After skipping the Niti Aayog governing council meeting last week, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday excused herself from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed meeting with the chiefs of political parties in New Delhi on Wednesday, and asked the Centre to prepare a white paper on the “one nation, one election” issue, instead of doing it “hurriedly”.
Mr Modi has invited the heads of all political parties that have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha for a meeting on June 19 to discuss several issues, including the “one nation, one election” idea, the 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 MPs on Thursday.
With 22 Lok Sabha members, the Trinamul Congress led by Ms Banerjee is the fourth-largest party in the Lower House, along with the YSR Congress, which also has 22 Lok Sabha members.
With 303 MPs, the ruling BJP is the largest party in the House, followed by the Congress (52) and DMK (23).
In a letter to parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi, Ms Banerjee has said that 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, 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 do so, we will be able to give concrete suggestions on this important subject,” she wrote in the letter.
The TMC chief further said that on the development of aspirational districts, her party had already conveyed that it was not in favour of the selection of a few districts as it would not conform to the overall objective of achieving a balanced and uniform development of all districts.
“Our state is committed to ensuring social and economic development of all districts uniformly so that regional imbalances do not arise,” she said.
The TMC supremo also skipped a Niti Aayog meeting last week. She also did not attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Her decision is seen in political circles as due to the heightened tussles between the Trinamul Congress and the BJP in West Bengal.