Mamata Banerjee (File photo)
KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee did not participate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's virtual meeting on the lockdown with chief ministers on Wednesday as the state was not chosen to be among the speakers.
There was no representative of the West Bengal government at the virtual meeting held with the Prime Minister.
Mamata Banerjee instead chose to hold a review meeting on the situation in the state due to Covid-19.
Speaking to journalists after the review meeting, Mamata Banerjee said, "It may be that they (the Centre) felt like not calling us and that's why we were not invited (to speak). We are not going to fight for that".
The TMC supremo hit out at the Centre saying, "Why do you consider Bengal so weak? If we have not been participated in one meeting, it will not decide our future.
"Remember, what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow," she said, quoting Gopal Krishna Gokhale, liberal political leader and social reformer during the Independence movement.
"We are always for the cause of the people... Maybe one day Bengal will invite everybody for a meeting," Banerjee, who has been one of the most strident critics of the BJP, said.
Calling her review meeting a "bigger" one for better management of the disease in the state, the chief minister said it looked into the cause of the people amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
"They (central government) are holding big meetings and I am holding meetings at a very grassroots level to look into the needs of the people - how to give them good treatment, how to involve everybody to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
"If there is a meeting somewhere else, it does not mean that another meeting cannot be held in another place. I did not waste time. I think the review meeting was a bigger one since we held it with COVID-19 warriors," she said.
Modi held the first round of consultation with chief ministers of Punjab, Assam, Kerala among several others states and Union Territories on Tuesday as the country gradually emerges out of the coronavirus lockdown.
Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were among those who attended the meeting on Wednesday.