Uddhav Thackeray, who heads an alliance government of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress in Maharashtra, is likely to skip the non-BJP CMs meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi.
A key meet of chief ministers of opposition-ruled states called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to mount pressure on the Centre received its first jolt with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray deciding not to participate. The meeting called by Sonia Gandhi aims to corner the BJP government over a wide range of issues, including the Centre’s decision to go ahead with the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) during pandemic.
According to reports, the CMs of the non-BJP ruled are likely to meet on Wednesday afternoon to demand postponement of the NEET and JEE to be held in September. The virtual meeting will take place at 2.30 pm.
Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday spoke to Mamata Banerjee, Uddhav Thackeray and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to invite them to the online meet.
Uddhav, who heads an alliance government of Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress, is likely to skip the meeting.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that he will not be able to attend due to some prior engagement.
Those who are likely to attend include Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy.
Notably, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone the examinations in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
“In our last video conference with Narendra Modi ji, I had been vocal against the UGC guidelines mandating completion of terminal examinations in Universities/Colleges by the end of September 2020, which had a huge potential to put student lives at risk,” Banerjee had on Monday tweeted.
“I would again appeal to the Centre to assess the risk and postpone these examinations until the situation is conducive again. It is our duty to ensure a safe environment for all our students,” she had said.
Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had on Sunday written to PM Modi urging him to postpone the examinations.
The move is seen as an attempt towards opposition unity on the NEE and JEE. Also, opposition leaders are likely to evolve a collective stand during the meeting for the GST council meeting on Thursday which will be attended by the Chief Ministers of all the states. Finance Ministers of all states are part of the GST Council.The opposition states are likely to demand 14% GST compensation from the government.