6 CMs skip NIC, snub Centre

6 CMs skip NIC, snub Centre

Those who were conspicuo­us by their absence included Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), J Jayal­al­itha (Tamil Nadu), Mayawati (Uttar Pradesh) and Prakash Singh Badal (Punjab). The absent chief ministers were represented by their ministerial colleagues. The most conspicuous of the absentees was Mamata, who only earlier this week ca­used a severe embarrassment to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by refusing to be part of his tour party to Bangladesh, as a result of wh­ich, the Teesta river water treaty could not be signed.

As for Modi, his absence was expected as he has taken on the Centre for refusing his dem­and to recall Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal, who, in a controversial move, appointed the state Lokayukta witho­ut taking his consent. The ch­ief minister had written to Si­ngh, asking that the Govern­or be directed to withdraw the notification. The BJP MPs, who had disr­u­pted Parliam­e­nt for nearly a week, even ma­rched to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mayawati, who has made it a habit of not attending the meetings of chief ministers, lashed out at the Centre for not circulating the draft bill on communal violence among the states though the issue was the main agenda of the conference.

Nitish Kumar also criticised the Centre for not consulting the states on the bill. Jayal­ilatha, for whom this co­uld have been the first meeting after returning to power in Tamil Nadu, did not attend as the Assembly is in session, official sources said. But the unstated reason seemed to be th­at she did not want to meet her bete noire P Chidam­ba­ram, the host of the meeting. Kerala’s Oommen Chandy was the lone Congress chief minister absent, but it was because of a prior engagement.

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