Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar had called for a meeting at Bengal Legislative Assembly to discuss prevention of lynching bill and SC-ST Bill on the 17th of January, where he had asked West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to attend the meeting besides other MLAs. Mamata Banerjee's office on Thursday informed Raj Bhawan that she has prior commitments and cannot attend the meet scheduled for Friday.
"With regard to the pendency of the Bills viz., The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 and The West Bengal State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2019 on account of there being no inputs available from the State Government and the State Legislative Assembly in spite of repeated efforts, a meeting was scheduled by the Hon’ble Governor on 17.1.2020. One of the participants in the meeting happens to be the Leader of the Trinamool Congress Legislature Party and the Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal, Smt. Mamata Banerjee", said a statement issued by the Governor's office.
The CM's message comes at a time when she has pulled out of the Central Government's meeting on NPR on the 17th. Apart from Kerala, West Bengal is the second state to not be party to it. Mamata Banerjee had boycotted the opposition meeting called by Congress in Delhi, earlier this week as well.
"Today the Chief Minister’s Office informed the Governor’s Office that on account of preoccupations on 17.1.2020, it will not be possible for the Chief Minister to attend this meeting. Hon’ble Governor has urged the Hon’ble Chief Minister to give priority to this matter and spare time at the earliest and the same may be communicated." stated the Raj Bhawan note.
The meeting for the discussion on bills in Bengal Assembly will also see the non-presence of senior CPIM MLA Sujan Chakraborty and leader of opposition, Abdul Mannan from the Congress. The letter stated that these two leaders have asked for another date, "In this matter, as regards this meeting, already the Leader of the Opposition, WBLA, Shri Abdul Mannan and Dr Sujan Chakraborty, Leader, Left Front Legislature Party, West Bengal Legislative Assembly, have requested for a meeting on 21.1.2020 and their meeting will be on that date."