West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be attending the all-party meeting called by WB Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today to discuss the Prevention of Lynching Bill, 2019 and the Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2019.
The governor has sought "guidance" and a "way forward" on the two bills which were passed by the Assembly on August 30 last year.
The meeting scheduled today at noon will take place at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.
Dhankhar had tweeted on Monday, January 13, "@MamataOfficial. I have invited leaders of the Legislature Parties in the Legislative Assembly on 17.1.2020 at 12 noon at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata as regards pendency of West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 and West Bengal State Commission for SC and ST Bill 2019,"
In a letter attached with the tweet, he had said, "As regards both the Bills, highest attention is being bestowed by me for their consideration at my end, essential inputs have been sought from the West Bengal legislative assembly as also the state government.
"In spite of repeated serious efforts at my end, the requisite information is not forthcoming and that has resulted in further appropriate consideration of the Bill in terms of the Constitution."
Soon after Dhankhar’s call for the meeting, CPI(M)'s Sujan Chakraborty had expressed his inability to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment.
Apart from Banerjee, the letter was forwarded to Mannan, Chakraborty, and leaders of the RSP, AIFB, CPI, GJM and the BJP.
"The step was being taken for this meeting as on one hand the inputs are not being made available and on the other hand, total factually untenable information is being put in public domain both at the level of the Assembly as also the state government," Dhankhar wrote on his Twitter handle.
Echoing similar sentiment, senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan said he would have to be at an event in Delhi the day before and a decision would be taken on the meeting following consultations with the party's central leadership.
Mannan had said at a press meet that a Congress delegation had earlier met the governor to point out "unwanted changes" made in the original draft of lynching prevention bill, but the party had no reservations regarding the SC-ST bill.
"We will decide about the issue (meeting the governor) after talking to the central leadership of our party. There is an event scheduled on January 16 in Delhi, which I will attend. We will take a decision after considering all these factors," the leader of opposition in the Assembly said.
Mamata has also refused to attend today's conference of State Chief Secretaries and Directors of Census to discuss Census and National Population Register which will be held in Delhi informed sources from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
With inputs from Agencies