West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s all-party meeting on Wednesday to discuss ‘one nation, one election’. She declined to attend the meet saying a day's dialogue is not enough to take a call on the agenda.
She intimated about her decision in a letter to Pralhad Joshi, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister. She even asked the government to prepare a white paper on 'one nation, one election' instead of doing it "hurriedly".
“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,” she wrote.
"Instead of doing the matter hurriedly, 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 letter reads.
PM Modi has invited heads of all political parties having representatives in Parliament on June 19, i.e. tomorrow to freely interact and exchange views with the government on "one nation, one election" idea, celebration of the 75 years of Independence in 2022 and 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary this year. It will be followed by a dinner-meeting with all MPs on June 20.
The prime minister's pitch for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections has been strongly backed by Odisha's ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), while some other opposition parties termed the suggestion as "impractical".
He will also interact with the members of both Houses of Parliament on June 20 over governance issues.