Three Chief Ministers To Skip NITI Aayog Meet
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekar Rao and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will not be attending the NITI Aayog’s fifth governing council meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.
Mamata, who is up in arms against the BJP in her state, has refused to attend the meeting, saying it is “fruitless” as the Niti Aayog has no financial powers to support state plans, reports NDTV. Mamata also said it was “unacceptable” that the Centre should expect states to discuss only specific agendas that it brings to the table.
K Chandrashekar Rao will not attend the meet as he is busy with preparations for the inauguration of an irrigation project in his state. He had sought an appointment with Prime Minister Modi this week to invite him to the event but did not get one. KCR is yet to meet the Prime Minister after the national election results. He had also skipped Modi’s oath-taking ceremony last month.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has cited poor health for his absence. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, meanwhile, held a meeting with four other Congress chief ministers and Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy to discuss issues of their states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair over the NITI Aayog governing council meeting. This would be the planning body’s first meeting after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance formed a new government at the Centre after a landslide win in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Farm distress, drought and security concerns in Maoist-affected districts will be high on the agenda. Chief ministers, lieutenant governors of Union territories, Union ministers and senior government officials will be attending the meet.