NEW DELHI:Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s move to bring together chief ministers on a common platform to build a pressure group against the Centre evoked very poor response on Wednesday with most of the CMs opting out from the ‘Chief Ministers Conclave’.
Only two, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Tripura’s Manik Sarkar, turned up. Interestingly, Mamata and Sarkar did not share the stage. While Didi shared stage with Kejriwal, Sarkar left immediately after meeting Kejriwal and did not address the audience. Kejriwal had invited all the CMs, including those from BJP and Congress-ruled states. Three CMs, Nitish Kumar from Bihar, Lal Thanhawla of Mizoram and N Rangasamy of Puduchherry, sent letters, expressing support for the meeting.
In his message, Nitish said Modi was making big announcements for Bihar considering the polls but at the same time, was not looking into problems of states like Odisha and West Bengal. Demanding decentralisation to strengthen federalism, Kejriwal attacked Modi for interfering in functioning of states as well as undermining the judiciary. He also accused Modi of playing politics in allocation of funds and arm-twisting states by using agencies like the CBI. Didi blasted the Centre for CBI raids at the residence of her Himachal Pradesh counterpart Virbhadra Singh and wondered what would happen if a CM orders raids on PM’s house.
“All the constitutional positions are at stake. We have never seen such things (raids) happen at the houses of President, PM, CM, judges, newspaper editors. There should be ethics,” she said.