In a shocking development, Mamata Banerjee has directed all the officials of the state government to skip and boycott every meeting with the central agencies, be it the union ministries or NITI Ayog. Mamata Banerjee has issued categorical instructions to all the bureaucrats and officials of West Bengal not to attend any meeting or interact with central agencies, thereby blocking all the attempts of central government to directly interact with bureaucrats and implement the plans at grass-root level.
As per a recent report in The Economic Times, this is perhaps the first such instance in which district magistrates were instructed to skip the ‘mandatory’ Niti Ayog meeting. A district magistrate on conditions of anonymity pointed out that there were “categorical” instructions “from the top” to skip the meet. “We have got verbal instructions from Nabanna which told us to avoid this meeting. The previous meeting two weeks back was on going cashless and digital transactions at the district level. DMs skipped that one too,” he maintained.
The report further goes on to say that it is not just the DMs who have been asked to skip any meetings with the Centre. A week back, Vice Chancellors of different state-run universities were asked to skip a video conference with UGC officials. “We skipped the video conferencing by Prakash Javadekar on digital economy and casheless transactions, held earlier in December as we were pre-occupied ,” a VC said.
It is well known fact that Mamata Banerjee has been the strongest voice against demonetisation , going all across the country and conducting rallies for roll back of it. In her frustration, she has also attacked the central government for providing CRPF security to the Income Tax officials and a routine exercise of Indian Army, both for which, she has been slammed. However, this draconian order of Mamata Banerjee to her bureaucrats to boycott all the mandatory meetings with NITI Ayog & other central agencies is way more dreadful. It is directly going to affect millions of people whose lives could have been improved by implementation of central schemes at grass-root level. Even if it gives a certain political advantage to Mamata Banerjee, it is the poor people of Bengal who are going to suffer terribly. It would have been better if Mamata had kept politics and administration separate.