Niti Aayog Meeting: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the eighth governing council meeting of Niti Aayog at the new Convention Centre in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan on Saturday. However, it was notable that as many as eight chief ministers decided not to attend the meeting, showcasing a significant absence from opposition-led states.
Reasons Behind the Absence of Chief Ministers
Arvind Kejriwal: Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, boycotted the meeting in protest against the “undemocratic and unconstitutional” May 19 ordinance. The ordinance restored control over services in the national capital to the Centre under the Lieutenant Governor (LG), effectively nullifying a Supreme Court order that had granted control of services, excluding police, public order, and land, to the elected government.
Mamata Banerjee: West Bengal did not have any representative at the Niti Aayog meeting as the Centre turned down the state government’s request to send the state finance minister and the chief secretary. The Centre insisted that Mamata Banerjee attend the event, but she had already decided not to participate. The reason behind her absence was not explicitly stated, with the state finance minister mentioning that Banerjee was occupied with other work.
Nitish Kumar: Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, expressed his inability to attend the meeting due to prior commitments. The Bihar cabinet is still awaiting a response from the Union government regarding the possibility of someone else attending the meeting on behalf of the state.
K Chandrashekar Rao: The Telangana Chief Minister and president of the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) did not attend the meeting as he had a scheduled meeting with Arvind Kejriwal in Hyderabad. Kejriwal has been meeting leaders of opposition parties, seeking their support against the services ordinance, which is set to be presented as a bill in Parliament.
MK Stalin: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, was unable to attend the meeting due to his ongoing visit to Singapore and Japan.
Bhagwant Mann: The Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann, decided not to attend the Niti Aayog meeting in protest against the alleged discrimination by the Centre over the issue of grant of funds. Mann highlighted the demand to release the outstanding rural development fund (RDF) amounting to ₹3,600 crore, which the Centre has yet to address.
Ashok Gehlot: The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, cited health reasons for his absence from the meeting.
Pinarayi Vijayan: The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, did not provide a specific reason for his absence.
“Opposition Chief Ministers’ Absence at Niti Aayog Meeting Highlights Political Differences and Concerns”
The absence of these opposition Chief Ministers at the Niti Aayog meeting indicates the presence of political differences and concerns surrounding various issues. The meeting, which aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between the central and state governments, should consider addressing the concerns raised by the opposition leaders. Engaging in constructive discussions and maintaining transparency is crucial for fostering cooperative federalism and ensuring inclusive decision-making processes that benefit all stakeholders.
As the country progresses, it is imperative for the central and state governments to work together, respecting the autonomy of each other while addressing the concerns and aspirations of the people. Building strong and cooperative relationships between the ruling party and the opposition is essential for the overall development and well-being of the nation.
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