New Delhi: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, on Tuesday, rejected an invitation from parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi to discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “One Nation, One Election” initiative to hold the general and the state assembly elections simultaneously. Banerjee, instead, sought a white paper on the proposal and said this requires consultations with constitutional experts.
In her reply to Joshi’s invitation, Banerjee wrote: “A proper response on such a sensitive and serious subject like the ‘One Country, One Election’ in such a short time would not do justice to the subject it deserves. The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, elections experts and above all the party members. ... Instead of rushing through the matter, I would request you to kindly circulate a white paper on the subject to all political parties inviting their views by providing adequate time. If you only do so, we will be able to give concrete suggestions on this important subject.”
The Bengal chief minister also refused to attend to the other discussions on the agenda in the meeting, like the NITI Aayog’s proposal of developing “aspirational districts”, which seeks to fast-track the improvement of the socio-economic condition of 117 districts across 28 states.
Banerjee said the proposal doesn’t fit with the overall objectives of achieving “balanced and uniform development of all districts in the state”.
She said, “Our state is committed to ensuring social and economic development of all districts uniformly so that regional imbalances do not rise.”