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Seven CMs would not attend today’s Niti Aayog meeting

With the Opposition at odds with the Centre on a number of topics, at least seven chief ministers will skip the NITI Aayog’s seventh Governing Council meeting on Saturday, which will be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It comes on the heels of 20 opposition parties announcing their boycott of the prime minister’s inauguration of the new Parliament building on Sunday. West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan, Tamil Nadu’s M K Stalin, Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab’s Bhagwant Mann, Telangana’s K Chandrasekhar Rao, and Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah are among the CMs who did not attend. The Governing Council, NITI Aayog’s ultimate council, is comprised of all CMs, Lt Governors, and numerous Union ministers. Kejriwal, who is at odds with the Centre over an ordinance to regulate Delhi’s administrative services, wrote to Modi on Friday stating he will boycott the Niti Aayog conference, claiming the Centre’s promise to cooperative federalism is a farce. Mann is outraged by the Centre’s treatment of Punjab. According to Malvinder Singh Kang, the AAP’s state chief spokesperson, the boycott decision was made because the Centre has withheld Rural Development Fund totaling Rs 4,000 crore, stopped mandi tax, and delayed or shifted some sanctioned projects to other states. TMC president Mamata Banerjee had first stated her desire to attend the conference, but she later altered her mind. According to sources close to the Telangana CM, he is furious with the Centre for violating the principle of cooperative federalism and interfering with state sovereignty. ¬†According to sources, M K Stalin and Pinarayi Vijayan would be unable to attend due to prior commitments. Stalin is now on an official visit to Japan. On Saturday, Siddaramaiah will attend the inauguration of new members of his extended government. However, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren will be present.


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