Union Minister Babul Supriyo on Wednesday came down heavily on the West Bengal government for not sending any representative to the ongoing India International Science Festival here, saying politics is the "biggest polluting agent" in the state.
He also alleged that state bureaucrats are "not allowed" to attend meetings, convened by the Centre.
Countering Supriyo's charge, a senior Trinamool Congress leader said, the entire country knows the kind of "communal poison" that the BJP is spreading in the country.
"The 5th Edition of the IISF is happening in West Bengal and the state ministers are absent here (in the session). I deeply condemn it," Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, told PTI, on the sidelines of a programme.
The minister also said, Chief Minister Mamata Bernerjee was not present in meetings, called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We have a federal structure that needs to be respected. We have come here with a lot of hope. West Bengal is the host state of the 5th edition of IISF but you don't have the minister coming in. What kind of ethics is this? Politics is the biggest polluting agent in Kolkata," he said.
Supriyo was speaking after addressing a session on 'States Science and Technology Ministers Conclave'.
"I hope better sense prevails and such examples are not set in front of the other states. As a Bengali, I feel ashamed. Ministers of many other states were on the dais while the West Bengal minister was not there.
"I am sure that the invitation must have gone to the (Science & Technology) minister of West Bengal with Kolkata being the host city. Either it did not respond to the invitation or refused it and so there is no representation of West Bengal government," Supriyo said.
Assam S&T minister Keshav Mahanta, Madhya Pradesh S&T Minister PC Sharma, their counterparts in Odisha and Puducherry, Ashoka Chandra Panda and M Kandasamy respectively were present at the "States Science and Technology Ministers Conclave" session under the IISF here.
"If there is no representation here, how do we expect them to go to Delhi and sit with officials of our ministries to sort out problems? They were not present when the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) fund was given or any other meeting.
"The CM does not go to PM's meetings and suddenly she feels that one day she can go and give flowers. It does not solve the problems of the state," Supriyo said.
Incidentally, Banerjee had met PM Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah recently in New Delhi.
Asked whether the Centre has any plan to counter air pollution in the eastern metropolis, he said, "We write a lot of letters to Kolkata but most of them are unanswered... stubble burning is definitely not a problem in Kolkata and to know what is the specific problem in Kolkata, there should be a continuous dialogue between the state and the Centre.
"Does it happen? The bureaucrats here are not given permission to go and attend meetings."
He also alleged that during the CAMPA fund distribution for afforestation, ministers of all the states were there, except the West Bengal forest minister.
Despite the minister giving it a miss, the Centre had handed over the cheque to the state officials, he said.
"If you want to reach out to the Centre, please go ahead ... this is something lacking in West Bengal," Supriyo said.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said, "All I can say is, the entire country knows the kind of communal poison that the BJP is spreading in the country.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)