Lashing out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her decision to skip the Niti Aayog meeting on June 15, the state BJP unit today said the TMC supremo was behaving like an "anti-national" and trying to scuttle the growth of Bengal.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) was quick to hit back, saying it does not need lessons on nationalism or development from a "communal party like the BJP".
West Bengal BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar said Ms Banerjee's move was against the interest of the nation.
"When the entire country is moving forward under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mamata is the only one opposing it. Even chief ministers of Congress-ruled states are attending the Niti Aayog meeting. "This (Mamata's decision) is against the interest of the nation. She is behaving like an anti-national, trying to scuttle the growth of Bengal," he said.
Ms Banerjee has expressed her inability to attend the meeting of the policy think-tank on June 15, saying it was "fruitless" as the body had no financial powers to support state plans.
"Given the fact that the Niti Aayog has no financial powers and the power to support state plans it is fruitless for me to attend the meeting of a body that is bereft of any financial powers," Mamata Banerjee said in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi is set to chair the fifth meeting of the Niti Aayog's Governing Council on June 15 to discuss various issues regarding the country's development.
Criticising the TMC supremo for her decision, BJP state president and first-time MP Dilip Ghosh said her excuse to skip the meeting was "lame".
"Her decision reflects that she is yet to accept her defeat and wants to politicize everything. While doing so, she is affecting the development of the state. She should be ashamed of it. Only she has a problem with Niti Aayog, other chief ministers don't. (Mamata) Banerjee is giving lame excuses as she does not want to attend the meeting," Mr Ghosh said.
Hitting out at the BJP leadership, state food supplies minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said it was for the chief minister to decide whether she wants to attend the meet.
"What is point in attending a meeting that would not bear any result? The BJP can't force us to attend any meeting; it is the prerogative of the chief minister... Also, neither the TMC nor Mamata Banerjee need lessons on nationalism or development from a communal party like BJP," Mr Mullick added.
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