Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired the eighth governing council meeting of NITI Aayog in the national capital. However, 11 chief ministers didn’t attend the huddle.
During the meeting, the PM expressed his gratitude to the chief ministers and lieutenant governors for attending the meeting and sharing their views and experiences, the NITI Aayog said in a statement.
Modi said NITI Aayog will study the states’ concerns, challenges, and best practices and subsequently plan the way forward
“Chief Minister/Lt. Governors gave various policy-level suggestions. They mentioned specific issues pertaining to the States which require Centre-State cooperation. Some of the key suggestions and best practices highlighted by them included in areas like opting for green strategies, need for zone-wise planning, tourism, urban planning, agriculture, quality of workmanship, logistics, among others”, the NITI Aayog statement read.
“NITI Aayog meeting was really good…I want to thank PM Modi. The way he wants to move forward with team India, a glimpse of that was visible there…”, Tripura chief minister Manik Saha said.
The prime minister’s meeting comes amid the controversy over the inauguration of new parliament building which is scheduled to take place on Sunday. However, NITI Aayog chief executive officer (CEO) BVR Subrahmanyam said the absentees might have had their personal reasons.
“11 Chief Ministers didn’t attend the meeting. But several other Chief Ministers did. I have seen similar attendance in previous NITI Aayog Governing Council meetings. They might have their personal reasons..,” he added.
“If you don’t attend (the meeting) you miss out on the discussion, on the rich thinking. It is not as if we will boycott someone, we will work together. Govt of India forms policies and it is not as if the states who didn’t attend will be left out but loss is of those who don’t participate”, Subrahmanyam added.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had decided to boycott the meeting because of the controversy surrounding the Centre’s ordinance limiting his government’s powers. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also did not attend because of his ‘prior commitments’. West Bengal did not have any representative at the meet because the TMC government’s request to send the state finance minister and chief secretary was reportedly turned down by the Centre. Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao also did not attend the meeting because he was in a huddle with Kejriwal at that time.
“The theme (of the meeting) was Viksit Bharat…Why is Viksit Bharat so important at this point? It is important because India is at a takeoff moment. We are not only the largest country by population but also the 5th largest economy. The fifth is going to become the third in a couple of years”, he added.