Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday skipped the meeting of the Union Cabinet which was convened to take a decision on recommending imposition of President’s Rule in Jharkhand.
Ms. Banerjee was in Delhi when the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took place but she did not attend, official sources said.
It is not for the first time that Ms. Banerjee has stayed away from the meeting of the Union Cabinet since she has skipped it on previous occasions too.
Ms. Banerjee’s action came a day after Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram debunked the “political conspiracy” theory floated by her to target CPI(M) in connection with the Jnaneswari Express derailment in Midnapore last Saturday in which 148 persons were killed. In a rebuff to Ms. Banerjee, Mr. Chidambaram said the “needle of suspicion” in the derailment pointed to Maoists or organisations linked to them.
On one occasion last year, it was stated that Ms. Banerjee did not attend as no issue concerning her ministry was to be discussed at the Cabinet. Ms. Banerjee had again skipped the Cabinet meet ostensibly because she had to “rush” to Kolkata.
Ms. Banerjee once almost walked out of the Cabinet meeting over the proposed land acquisition bill.