Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was kept away by Railway Ministry from the ceremony to mark the start of a new Metro Rail project, on Wednesday presided over a cabinet meeting when the programme was underway in Joka.
No representative of the state government attended the Railway Ministry`s programme in which Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor M K Narayanan and central ministers were present.
Bhattacharjee had said yesterday that he had not received an invitation to the programme.
State Transport Minister Ranjit Kundu who received an invitation after he had left the state secretariat Writers` Buildings yesterday also did not attend the ceremony.
Kundu alleged that though the Metro Rail project was for people of West Bengal, the state government was kept in the dark by the Railway Ministry.
"It is a matter of joy that the Metro Rail project is becoming a reality, but it is a matter of distress that the chief minister was not invited where the President was present. It is an indecent matter," he said.
The chief minister had also not been invited during the extension of the Metro rail from Tollygunj to Garia on August 22, 2009. No state representative had been present then also.
It was attended by the then Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had personally gone to Raj Bhavan to invite Narayanan for today`s programme.
State Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen and Home secretary Samar Ghosh, who were invited to the programme, could not attend as they had to be present at the cabinet meeting, officials said.
State CPI(M) secretary Biman Bose criticised the Railways for not inviting the chief minister.
He said that the Trinamool Congress did not believe in democratic principles and such an incident would not strengthen democracy in the state.