West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee again skipped the COVID-19 review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, reflecting the apparent rift between the two leaders amid a turbulent campaign for them. elections in the state.
The meeting, held by videoconference, was attended by West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.
Sources close to the chief minister said she did not attend the meeting because she was busy campaigning ahead of the fourth phase of the assembly elections.
This is not the first time that the Chief Minister of West Bengal has not attended a meeting called by the Center.
In recent years, the Chief Minister of West Bengal has repeatedly missed meetings called by Niti Aayog.
Banerjee had skipped the meeting of senior ministers chaired by the Prime Minister on March 17 due to the growth of COVID-19 cases and the vaccination campaign.
Trinamool congressional sources said at the time that the West Bengal chief minister was unable to attend the meeting because it had pre-scheduled election meetings.
Earlier on January 23, Banerjee did not deliver his “protest” speech at an event at the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata to mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after the slogans of “Jai Shree Ram “were raised when asked to speak.
She later said that “the government program should have a certain dignity” and that it “is not fair to insult someone you have invited”. The event was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The head of the TMC did not attend NITI Aayog in June 2019. Prior to the meeting, she wrote to the Prime Minister that “NITI Aaayog has no financial credentials and the power to support state plans, it is unnecessary for me to attend the meeting “.
She also skipped the NITI Aayog meeting on June 11, 2018, while traveling to North Bengal for administrative review meetings. Prime Minister Modi and the Chief Minister of West Bengal have heavily targeted themselves during the elections in West Bengal. The fourth phase of the ballot will take place on April 10.