The government has roped in its key trouble-shooters to overcome the ‘MMNJ factor’ at the National Development Council (NDC) — body of all chief ministers and key Central ministers — on Thursday.
The council is meeting to discuss and approve the 12th five-year-plan (2012-17) prescribing development agenda for the next four years. This is the last council meet before the next general elections.
But, the government's top functionaries believe that the combine of Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar and J Jayalalithaa, called 'MMNJ factor', can prove to be a roadblock in getting the plan approved as the central government has not met many of their demands.
Anticipating trouble, the Centre had last week changed the composition of the Planning Commission bringing in parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath, health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and law minister Ashwini Kumar as members of the panel.
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh is now out of the panel.
Modi, who was last week elected as Gujarat chief minister for third time, has sought more flexibility for the states to utilise allotted funds. The council will provide him the platform to showcase his Prime Ministerial aspirations, a senior official said, terming it a "headache".
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has already declared that he would not support a plan unless his state gets special category status, meaning higher allocation of money from the central kitty.
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa had accused the UPA of using planning commission to control the state governments functioning through disbursement of funds.
West Bengal CM has been demanding three year moratorium on repayment of loans and higher central allocation to meet state expenses.
The unhappiness of non-UPA CMs over the document has sent jitters among top plan panel functionaries who feel that such a strong political opposition can cause embarrassment to the government.