New Delhi, May 27
Even as PM Narendra Modi underlined the need for evolving a common vision to achieve the goal of a developed India by 2047 by taking financially prudent decisions, the eighth meeting of the NITI Aayog’s Governing Council was marred by the absence of 10 CMs of Opposition-ruled states.
Not in attendance
Chief Ministers of Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
States must maintain fiscal discipline and take prudent decisions to meet the aspirations of people. Narendra Modi, PM
The ruling BJP called the move “irresponsible” and “anti-people”. Among the CMs who skipped the meeting included Arvind Kejriwal, Bhagwant Mann, Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Ashok Gehlot, K Chandrasekhar Rao, Naveen Patnaik, MK Stalin, Pinarayi Vijayan and Siddaramaiah.
Addressing CMs and Lt Governors of 19 states and six UTs, who were in attendance, PM Modi said the Centre, states and UTs “need to work as a team and develop a long-term common vision to fulfil the aspirations of people to make India a developed country by 2047”.
He also urged the states to maintain fiscal discipline and take financially prudent decisions capable of delivering programmes that meet the aspirations of the people.
Punjab CM Mann, while addressing a joint press conference along with his Telangana and Delhi counterparts in Hyderabad today, said, “There was no point in attending the meeting given the respect the Centre has for federalism.” Terming the meeting as “a mere photo session”, he said pending issues of states must be addressed first.
Delhi CM Kejriwal yesterday wrote to PM Modi, announcing his boycott of the meeting over the Centre’s recent ordinance, effectively cancelling the Supreme Court order that granted the Delhi Government executive control over the bureaucracy.
Rajasthan CM Gehlot cited health reasons, while his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan did not give any specific reason for his absence.
Odisha CM Patnaik, who maintains a calculated distance from both the NDA and the Opposition, was also absent. According to his office, Patnaik had some prior engagement.
Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “NITI Aayog is very important platform for planning and development of the country. The CMs who have not come failed to raise the voice of the people of their state here.”
Among the CMs of Congress-ruled states, Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh and Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu of Himachal Pradesh raised the demand for the return of fund collected under New Pension Scheme (NPS) to the states for implementing the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
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