Six Chief Ministers Opt-Out Of NITI Aayog Meeting To Be Chaired By Pm Narendra Modi
The chief ministers of six states, all governed by non-BJP parties, have chosen not to attend the 8th meeting of NITI Aayog.
The chief ministers of Punjab and Delhi, both belonging to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), have declared their intention to boycott the NITI Aayog’s meeting. However, other states have provided diverse explanations for their non-participation in the meeting.
Boycott in unity
The chief ministers of six states, namely Punjab, Delhi, Telangana, Odisha, Bihar, and West Bengal, all governed by non-BJP parties, have chosen not to attend the 8th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog. While the chief ministers of Punjab and Delhi, both from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), have explicitly announced their boycott as a protest against the Central Government’s ordinance on control over services, the other states have cited different reasons for their non-participation.
Arvind Kejriwal writes letter to PM Modi
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his decision, saying that , “What is the use of attending this meeting, when the Centre is openly making fun of cooperative federalism.”
“NITI Ayog’s objective is to prepare a vision for India and promote cooperative federalism. But in the past few years, the way democracy has been attacked and the way the non BJP governments are being toppled, is neither our country’s vision nor cooperative federalism,” Kejriwal said in his letter to the PM.
Kerjiwal accused the central government, in the last few years, a message has been sent across the country that if “If any non-BJP party forms government in any state, will not be tolerated. Either they (bon-BJP government) will be toppled by poaching their MLAs or ED and CBI is used to threaten the MLAs to break the government.”
CM Bhagwant Mann to skip Niti Aayog meeting
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has decided to boycott the Niti Aayog meeting in Delhi on Saturday as a form of protest against the central government’s failure to release Rs 3,600 crore in rural development fee (RDF) owed to the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be chairing the Niti Aayog Governing Council meeting, where important topics such as health, women empowerment, and infrastructure development will be discussed.
Protest against unfulfilled RDF payment
The spokesperson for the Aam Aadmi Party’s state unit, Malvinder Singh Kang, stated that the chief minister has been urging the central government to release the outstanding RDF payment of Rs 3,600 crore, but the central government has not taken any action on the matter. In the past, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has held meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal regarding this issue.
Statement by Malvinder Singh Kang
“They have reduced our Mandi Development Fee (MDF) from 3 per cent to one percent. Where will the money come for the development of rural areas and the mandi infrastructure? The Centre is discriminating against Punjab…so in protest, the chief minister will not be going for the NITI Aayog meeting,” Kang said.
Telangana CM KCR prioritizes meeting with Delhi CM
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has decided not to attend the NITI Aayog’s meeting. His party, BRS, stated that Rao will be hosting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in Hyderabad on Saturday morning to seek support against the Center’s ordinance on control of services in the national capital. As a result, Rao will be engaged in these activities and will not be able to attend the NITI Aayog meeting.
Prior engagements keep Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik away
Similarly, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will also not attend the NITI Aayog’s governing council meeting. The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) cited a prior program in Odisha as the reason for his absence from the meeting.
Center denies request for proxy representation
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had previously made the decision not to attend the NITI Aayog’s governing council meeting. However, the Center has rejected the request made by the TMC government to send the state finance minister and chief secretary as representatives in place of the Chief Minister. The Center has insisted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should attend the event.
Chandrima Bhattacharya’s Statement
Confirming the development, State Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya told PTI, “We had requested the Centre to allow me and the chief secretary to attend the meeting as Mamata Banerjee is busy with some other work. In its reply, the Centre said the ‘CM may attend’. This is an indirect way of not allowing anybody other than the CM to attend the meeting. Hence, there will be no representative of West Bengal at tomorrow’s meeting.” “If the chief minister of the state is preoccupied with some other work, can’t she send any minister or official on her behalf? After all, I am the finance minister of the state and can represent the state. I do not understand the logic of not allowing the finance minister to attend the Niti Aayog meeting,” she said.
Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh CMs attend NITI Aayog meet, Siddaramaiah and Gehlot absent
The Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh, both belonging to the Congress party, arrived in Delhi on Friday for the NITI Aayog’s governing council meeting. However, two prominent leaders of the party, Siddaramaiah (Chief Minister of Karnataka) and Ashok Gehlot (Chief Minister of Rajasthan), are unlikely to be present at the meeting. Siddaramaiah will be occupied with the swearing-in ceremony to expand his cabinet on Saturday, while Gehlot’s attendance remains uncertain.
According to sources in the Bihar government, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also expected to miss the NITI Aayog meeting due to prior commitments in Patna on Saturday.