The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has formed 13 pairs and three trios of states and Union Territories under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme. West Bengal is the only state conspicuous by its absence from the list. The state government apparently found “certain provisions” in the format “not agreeable”. The ministry thought talking to Bengal officials was like “talking to a wall”. The programme was announced in October last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote cultural exchange among people from different states and Union Territories.