Mamata Banerjee, Biplab Deb to attend Narendra Modi's CM meet today; Naidu and KCR to give it a miss

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of the full committee of chief ministers in New Delhi at 5 pm on Wednesday. This meeting, that appears to be viewed with great anticipation by the Opposition, has been called by Modi to discuss schemes to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

 Mamata Banerjee, Biplab Deb to attend Narendra Modis CM meet today; Naidu and KCR to give it a miss

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb, as well as West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, will attend the meeting that will be chaired by President Ram Nath Kovind.

A letter from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had appealed to the various chief ministers to share their thoughts on spreading Mahatma Gandhi's message. "The committee is mandated to consider policies and lay down guidelines for the commemoration and decide on a timeframe for related activities," the letter said.

Representatives from across the political spectrum are being invited to plan a grand nation-wide Gandhi Jayanti celebration in 2019.

Meanwhile, sources in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) in Agartala said that Deb had also been chosen as a member of a committee for the commemoration of Gandhi's birth anniversary. As for Mamata, it is not known if she will hold meetings with other chief ministers or national leaders during her stay in Delhi.

Apart from them, Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami will also attend the meeting amid Cauvery row protests in his state.

However, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao have decided to give the meet a miss. Top Telugu Desam Party (TDP) sources said that Naidu has decided "boycott" the meeting as he does not want to come face to face with someone who "betrayed his state" by going back on promises, including on according Special Category status to it.

As far as KCR is concerned, sources close to his party — the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) — say Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav is dropping by on him in Hyderabad, apparently to discuss issues related to the formation of the proposed anti-BJP, anti-Congress front. "His programme (meeting with Yadav) was decided much in advance," said TRS sources.

Constituted last year, the committee has on board 114 members, including former prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee, HD Deve Gowda and Manmohan Singh. Its mandate is to approve policies, programmes and activities for the celebrations and supervise their implementation. Union ministers, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran L K Advani, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra are also among the members of the panel.

The government has set aside Rs 150 crore to mark the commemoration celebrations. “The 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation will be celebrated in 2019. We shall use the preceding year to rededicate ourselves to the ideals the Mahatma taught and lived by. We shall aim to bring the Mahatma’s message alive for the generations across the world that have not had the privilege of living during his lifetime,” Modi wrote to the committee members. Celebrations will be held across the country and abroad for a year from 2 October, 2019 to 2 October, 2020, to propagate Mahatma Gandhi's messages across the country.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 02, 2018 10:05:05 IST