Atlast three non-BJP chief ministers will not attend the fifth governering council meeting of the Niti Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, later today. They are Mamata Banerjee, K Chandrasekhar Rao and Capt. Amarinder Singh.
Though, Mamata Banerjee had in advance made it clear about her absence in the meeting stating it would be waste of time as the body didn’t have any financial powers. But, the remaning two chief ministers didn’t mentioned any reasons.
While, Mamata Banerjee had earlier refused to attend a meeting of the Niti Aayog, saying it is “fruitless”, her Telangana counterpart said to be busy with preparations for the inauguration of an irrigation project in the state.
Mamata Banerjee conveyed her decision not to attend the Niti Aayog meeting in a letter to PM Modi. In the 3-page long letter, Mamata Banerjee said it is “simply useless” to attend the meet as its agenda is fixed by the Centre without consulting the states. She, however, didn’t clarify whether any other minister of her cabinet would attend the meeting on her behalf or not.
Meanwhile, Odissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnayak and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who will be attending the meeting, have indicated that they would seek special status to their respective states in the meeting, though Modi’s government had earlier said no such status would be confirmed to any state in future.
This would be the first meeting o the Niti Aayog since the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance registered a landslide victory in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections. The meeting will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.