Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to the states to work closely with the Centre to realise the dreams of a “new India”, days after he spoke about his government’s strong political will to push economic reforms.
“States, local governments and all government and non-government organisations should set goals for 2022, and work in a mission mode towards achieving them,” he said at the third meeting of the governing council of Niti Aayog.
He, however, didn’t spare the chance to point out the “economic and political mismanagement” during the earlier regimes.
“For long, India had suffered from economic and political mismanagement. Because of this, many good initiatives and schemes had failed to deliver results. There is a need to develop robust arrangements that could function amidst diversity,” Modi said.
To drive home his point about cooperative federalism—often raised by the Opposition to attack Modi—the PM showcased the consensus on Goods and Services Tax as a great illustration. GST reflects the spirit of “One nation, one aspiration, one determination,” the PM said, even as he stated that the state-level legislative arrangements for the new tax regime should be cleared quickly.
In the meeting, which comes against the backdrop of the BJP’s recent victory in the assembly polls, the PM called upon the states to work as “Team India” and realise the dreams the country’s freedom fighters by 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.
Most CMs, barring West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, were present to discuss the “15-year vision document” or the new roadmap for the country’s economic and social growth.
Being aware that his government would require active support from key Opposition-ruled states, Modi left no stones unturned to create a consensus and take them along in the plan. He even added that the BHIM app, created amid the ruckus over demonetisation of high-value currency, will help states to save money.
“The Niti Aayog is working on a 15-year long term vision, 7-year medium term strategy, and a 3-year action agenda… This effort needs support of states,” Modi was quoted saying in his opening statement.
Punjab’s new CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Tripura CM Manik Sarkar , Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami were among the heads of the Opposition-ruled states who spoke at the meeting.
As many CMs had given suggestions on centrally-sponsored schemes like Swachh Bharat and Digital India ahead of the meeting. Modi pointed out that “it was for the first time” CMs were asked to recommend on Centrally-sponsored schemes. The recommendations were accepted immediately, he informed.
The PM again batted for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and assemblies.