West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would be participating in NITI Aayog's governing council meeting on June 17, sources at Nabanna, the state secretariat, said.
The meeting, to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was to be held on June 16 and Mamata Banerjee had refused partake in it saying that it was on Eid Day and she did not leave the city during festivals and it was expected that she would send a senior administrative official on her behalf.
This year, the agenda of the meeting is 'New India 2022'. It would be attended by Chief Ministers of the country and members of the think tank. Plans for the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi would also be discussed during the meeting.
Mamata has skipped the three previous NITI Aayog meetings since 2015, due to difference of opinion on several Central government policies.
Political analysts said that Mamata avoided leaving the city on Eid to send a reassuring message to people of a particular community who have voted her to power.
Sources also said that Mamata will be attending the Iftar party to be hosted by All India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi on June 13. This will be the first Iftar party to be hosted by Rahul as AICC president. Opposition leaders have been invited to send out a message of unity among Opposition parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Invitations have been sent to Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Jayant Chaudhary of Rashtriya Lok Dal, and Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejashwi Yadav.
Rahul's Iftar party has been shrouded in controversy since the time it was announced. The announcement was made soon after former President Pranab Mukherjee visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. There has been a lot of speculation on whether Mukherjee would be invited to the party since Rahul does not believe in RSS ideologies.
However, the AICC spokesperson had later confirmed that Mukherjee had been sent an invitation, and he has accepted the same.
- The agenda of the meeting is ‘New India 2022’.
- Mamata has skipped the three previous NITI Aayog meetings, due to difference of opinion on several Central government policies.