Chief Ministers should be informed well ahead of INDIA meet: Mamata

December 06, 2023 05:42 pm | Updated 05:42 pm IST

 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File. | Photo Credit: ANI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi only called and invited her one day ahead of the meeting scheduled for December 6, says WB CM; she hopes INDIA bloc leaders will meet soon, “whenever they decide”

Emphasising that Chief Ministers should be informed well in advance of INDIA meetings as they have pre-scheduled programmes, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on December 6 said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had called her on Monday, urging her to join the Opposition coalition’s meeting initially scheduled to be held on Tuesday, December 6.

“Day before yesterday, Rahul ji called me and told me about the meeting. I said nobody told me and I do not know. I had my programme also. For other Chief Ministers also, they are also busy and [cannot come] if they are not informed seven or ten days earlier,” Ms. Banerjee said, before leaving for a programme in north Bengal. She expressed the hope that Opposition parties under the banner of the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) would meet soon, “whenever they decide”.

On Tuesday, the Congress had been forced to downgrade the INDIA event from a planned gathering of party chiefs to a “coordination meeting of Parliamentary party leaders”.

Apart from Ms. Banerjee, DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin also declined the December 6 invitation, citing the flood situation in the State. Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar too had prior engagements.

‘Finalise seat-sharing’

On Monday, Ms. Banerjee had called for INDIA to finalise seat-sharing arrangements among its member parties, in order to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. “I still believe that if there is seat sharing [among parties in INDIA], the BJP will not return to power in 2024,” she had said.

The Trinamool Congress chairperson said that the results of last month’s Assembly polls in five States were a “defeat of the Congress party and not of the people”. Her remark came after the BJP wrested power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh from the Congress, while retaining power in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress’ sole victory came in Telangana.

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