Mamata & Naidu to skip PM Modi meet on ‘One nation, One poll’ today

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in a protest rally against the clashes that broke out yesterday during BJP President Amit Shah’s election roadshow for Lok Sabha polls, in Kolkata.
Continuing with her tirade against the central government, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Tuesday that she would not attend the meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called to discuss several issues, including the idea of holding simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

PM Modi has invited the chiefs of all political parties, which have at least one member either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, for the meeting on Wednesday to discuss issues such as “one nation, one election”, and the celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, with 22 MPs, is the fourth-largest party in the Lower House of Parliament, jointly with the YSR Congress.

In her letter, she said, “The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, election experts and above all the party members…I would request you to kindly circulate a White Paper on the subject to all political parties inviting their views by providing adequate time.”

She, however, said Trinamool will participate in the celebrations of the 75th year of Independence and Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in “the most befitting manner”.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president and state minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu will not attend the all-party meeting. Both of them will send their representatives though.

While YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will be present, it remains unclear whether the Congress will be in attendance.

After emerging from an informal meeting of opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday evening, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi told reporters that it will be clear only on Wednesday.

A meeting of opposition leaders at 10:30am on Wednesday has been called to help the parties reach a common ground. Those attending the opposition meeting were Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and party leaders Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and K Suresh; DMK leaders TR Baalu and Kanimozhi (DMK); the NCP’s Supriya Sule; National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah; and the Communist Party of India’s D Raja, among others.