Kolkata: In a first, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has convened a meeting of all Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) MLAs in the Assembly on Tuesday.
According to sources in the party, the CM on Monday called for the meeting in view of the unprecedented rise of the BJP in tribal-dominated areas of the state.
Around 80 out of 294 Assembly segments are reserved for SC and ST legislators in the state.
“The chief minister will be meeting all SC and ST MLAs in the Assembly, irrespective of their political affiliation, and discuss various developmental projects in the tribal areas of the state,” said a senior TMC leader.
Taking a dig at the Banerjee-led government, Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan said it took the Trinamool Congress (TMC) eight years to convene a meeting of opposition MLAs.
“After eight long years, they (TMC) suddenly realized that opposition MLAs matter. Our SC and ST MLAs will surely attend the meeting,” Mannan said.
The senior Congress leader also alleged that leaders of opposition parties were never invited to join the administrative meetings by the TMC government.
“Efforts were made to poach elected representatives, but the TMC government never made an attempt to invite leaders of opposition parties in administrative meetings,” he said.
Welcoming the move, BJP legislative party leader Manoj Tigga said he will attend the meeting and support any positive step taken by the government for the welfare of the state and its people.
The BJP has registered a stupendous performance in the recently held polls in West Bengal by bagging 18 of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, four less than the TMC.
Buoyed by the performance, the saffron party leaders have now claimed that they plan to overthrow the TMC from power in the 2021 Bengal polls.