Telagana CM to boycott August 7 NITI Aayog meeting

NITI Aayog has failed in all aspects, spirit of cooperative federalism defeated, says CM; The NITI Aayog has refuted KCR’s claims, claiming that the states are lumped together

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Hyderabad Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said he will boycott the Niti Aayog meeting scheduled for August 7 in New Delhi.

“I am staying away from the meeting in protest against the current trend of the central government to discriminate against the states and not treat them as equal partners,” he said.

He argued that the Centre’s actions were against the spirit of cooperative federalism enshrined in the Constitution.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said the NITI Aayog, which replaced the Planning Commission, has failed in all aspects and has not lived up to expectations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the seventh Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi on August 7.

On the Planning Commission, the Chief Minister claimed that the BJP government had promised to achieve cooperative federalism through the NITI Aayog as it has scrapped it. “But I never applied it literally and in spirit,” he said.

“During the launch of NITI Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that NITI Aayog will make Chief Ministers of all states its members and ensure teamwork. But nothing substantial has happened,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that it is limited to praising the government and organizing a few meetings,” he said.

Stating that the Planning Commission had helped the states by guiding them in the development programmes, he said that the NITI Aayog had failed to follow its own recommendations.

NITI Aayog refutes KCR’s claims

In a swift reaction, the NITI Aayog refuted the allegations made by the Telangana Chief Minister. A statement from Delhi said that the institution has put in place a number of measures for close cooperation with the States. “About 30 meetings were held in the last one year with Chief Ministers by senior officials of NITI Aayog. This has helped resolve several tangled issues between the Center and the states,” the release said.

Determining the Chief Minister’s decision to boycott the Council meeting, it is said to be a forum where the country’s top political leadership discusses key issues related to development,” the statement said.

Refuting the claim made by Chandrashekar Rao that NITI Aayog does not co-opt states, he said that NITI Aayog held discussions with states for six months before the Council meeting.

“Despite our requests for a meeting recently, the Chief Minister has not responded,” the statement said

Open letter

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Telangana Chief Minister said that the NITI Aayog has recommended the Center to release a grant of Rs 24,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya (reservoir restoration program) and Mission Bhagiratha (a scheme that seeks to provide drinking water for every household in the state).

Click TIMES to read the Telangana CM’s open letter to the Prime Minister

The government ignored the recommendation and decided not to allocate a single rupee to the programmes.

“After seven years of functioning of NITI Aayog, the Centre’s actions show that initiatives have gone astray as states are not included as equal partners in the national development agenda,” he said.

“The states have not participated in the preparation of the agenda of the NITI Aayog meetings. When the Planning Commission was in vogue, there were detailed interactive discussions with the states regarding their annual plans. Now there is neither a plan nor the participation of countries,” he noted.

“The environment of NITI Aayog meetings leaves little room for meaningful dialogue as chief ministers are hardly given a few minutes to speak and express their views,” he pointed out.

“Cooperative federalism, the principle enshrined in the Constitution, is being deliberately ignored as is evident from the Centre’s unilateral passage of legislation in the agriculture and power sectors,” he said.

Published on

06 August 2022

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