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Mamata Banerjee not to attend PM Modi's meeting with Chief Ministers


New Delhi, June 16: West Bengal will not participate in the virtual meeting to be held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief Ministers on Tuesday (June 16) and Wednesday (June 17) amid an unabated rise in coronavirus cases in the country.

Mamata Banerjee not to attend PM Modis meeting with chief ministers

The PM is expected to seek suggestions from the Chief Ministers and draw up a common strategy in deciding the future course of action to deal with the strategy.

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    The meeting will continue for two days in which CMs of 36 states were to participate but now only 13 CMs have been allowed to speak. This could possibly be the reason why state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be present in this meeting and the presence of the Chief Secretary is least likely.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Modi will hold a video-conference with Chief Ministers, Lt governors and administrators of 21 states and Union territories.

    These include Punjab, Kerala, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, the northeastern states and some UTs.

    The Prime Minister will interact with Chief Ministers of 15 states and the LG of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

    These include high case-load states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

    The two-day virtual meet comes against the backdrop of rising number of coronavirus cases in the country.

    India saw a jump of over 11,000 novel coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day on Monday, taking the total number of infections to over 3.32 lakh, while the toll rose to 9,520 with 325 more deaths.

    Under "Unlock 1", several relaxations have been made for public and businesses to ensure that economic activities hit by the lockdown gather momentum.

    Ahead of his meeting with chief ministers, the prime minister had on Saturday reviewed the steps being taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in areas with high case load and the road map for effective management of the situation.

    Modi had suggested that the home minister and the Health Minister convene an emergency meeting with the Delhi Lt governor and chief minister and other officials to plan a "coordinated and comprehensive response" to handle the challenge posed by rising cases of COVID-19 in Delhi.

    The meets suggested by the Prime Minister took place on Sunday.

    This would be the prime minister's sixth round of consultation with the Chief Ministers, the last being on May 11.

    Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with all the Chief Ministers over telephone in the last week of May, just before lockdown-4 was to end.

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