- KCR will skip the Niti Aayog meeting in Delhi that will be held on Sunday
- The TRS chief said that his decision is a mark of "protest" against the Central government
- NITI Aayog Rao's decision to boycott the Governing Council meeting 'unfortunate'
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, on Saturday declared that he will skip the Niti Aayog meeting in Delhi that will be held on Sunday. This is the 7th meeting of the Governing Council and is the first in-person meeting since July 2019.
The TRS chief said that his decision is a mark of "protest" against the Central government.
In a letter the CM wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CM expressed anguish against center, for states not being given "flexibility to design & modify schemes based on their needs & conditions to ensure maximum benefit to people".
He added that "I find the center micro-managing schemes, giving complete go by to state-specific needs which are best left to individual states."
"In view of these facts I do not find it useful to attend the 7th Governing Council meeting of Niti Aayog scheduled to be held on August 7, 2022 and I am staying away from it as a mark of strong protest against the present trend of central government to discriminate against the states and not treating them as equal partners in our collective effort to make India a strong and developed country,” Rao said in the letter narrating a host of reasons for his boycotting the meet.
NITI Aayog's reply
NITI Aayog Rao's decision to boycott the Governing Council meeting 'unfortunate'. "It is unfortunate that the Chief Minister of Telangana has chosen not to participate in the Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog to be held on August 7," the Aayog said.
The Governing Council, it added, is a forum where the highest political leadership in the country at the Centre and State levels deliberate on key development-related issues and agree on appropriate outcome oriented solutions for national development.
The Aayog said a delegation led by its Vice Chairman met the Telangana Chief Minister in Hyderabad on January 21, 2021, to discuss development issues pertaining to the state. "More recently, despite requests made by NITI Aayog for a meeting, the Chief Minister did not respond," it added.
The statement pointed out that in preparation for the August 7, 2022, Governing Council meeting, detailed consultations between the Centre and States, including Telangana, were held resulting in the first National Chief Secretaries Conference held in Dharamshala in June 2022.
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"The allegation of Hon'ble CM Telangana that states were not co-opted in preparation of agenda is incorrect," it said.
The statement noted that NITI Aayog was set up as an Institution with the mandate of cooperative federalism with a premise that strong states make a strong nation.
"A number of measures have already been put in place to work closely with states," it said, adding that in the last year alone more than 30 meetings have been held with the chief ministers of states by the Vice Chairman, and members of NITI Aayog.