The significance of a two-day meeting of the Planning Commission with the chief ministers of five eastern states in Bihar's capital is in danger of being diluted with two CMs deciding to stay away and one not confirming participation.
While Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh has boycotted the meeting citing rights activist Binayak Sen's presence in the Planning Commission's steering committee on health, there is no official word on Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda's decision to skip the meeting. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's participation, days after she took charge of the state, too is in doubt.
This no-show will see only host chief minister Nitish Kumar and his Orissa counterpart Naveen Patnaik attend the meeting, slated to begin on May 30, for discussing the draft approach for the 12th Five-Year Plan for eastern states. Deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahulwalia, would attend the meeting.
Singh and Munda have decided to send officials to the meeting. West Bengal too is likely to be represented by its officials. The last meeting of the five states took place in Kolkata in 2006.