iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, September 10, 2011
Five chief ministers on Saturday skipped the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sources said. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa were the five to skip the meeting.

According to sources, Modi has been upset with the central government for not acting on the issue of the appointment of Lokayukta in the state. Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal independently appointed the Lokayukta without consulting the state ministry, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has contended.

Modi is also opposed to the communal violence bill brought by the centre, which is also the reason for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to skip the meet.

Gujarat has a BJP-led government while Bihar has a Janata Dal-United (JD-U)-BJP alliance government.

The BJP has been opposing the bill, calling it "discriminatory" and "bound to be misused".

Jayalalithaa also has been opposing the communal violence bill, but it is not confirmed if it was the reason for her absence from the NIC meeting.

Jayalalithaa had also written to Mayawati, urging her to oppose the bill.

The NIC, which was reconstituted by the prime minister last year, has 147 members, including union ministers, leaders of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and the chief ministers.