KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress will attend the all-party meeting convened by the Centre on December 4 to discuss the COVID-19 situation but the Mamata Banerjee-headed party has expressed its grievance that a similar meeting was not convened when lockdown was first announced in March this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to take part in the meeting and interact with floor leaders of various parties in both houses of Parliament, official sources said on Tuesday.
The Centre is also expected to brief the parliamentarians about various steps it has taken to deal with the pandemic and may also touch upon the advances being made in the development and distribution of vaccine to check the virus, the sources said.
A senior TMC leader said on condition of anonymity, "Our Lok Sabha party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay and Rajya Sabha party leader Derek O' Brien will attend the meeting. The party will place its views during the meeting".
"But the Centre did not bother to call an all-party meeting or hold a discussion with all the chief ministers whee lockdown was first announced in March. It should have convened an all-party meeting then as well," a senior TMC leader said on condition of anonymity.
The top brass of the union government including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah besides Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi will also attend the December 4 meeting, they said.
This will be the second all-party meeting called by the Centre to discuss the COVID-19 situation since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The first meeting was held on April 20 amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
The prime minister has held multiple meetings with chief ministers to review the situation in the states and offer suggestions laying special emphasis on states with high COVID-19 caseload.
The prime minister on Monday held a virtual meeting with three teams working on developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine.
He had also visited pharmaceutical companies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune on Saturday, to review coronavirus vaccine development work there.