Ahead of Niti Aayog meeting, Manmohan Singh meets Congress CMs
Ahead of the meeting of the Niti Aayog Saturday afternoon, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met chief ministers of states ruled by the Congress and its allies at the Congress headquarters.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy and Puducherry’s V Narayansamy were present at the meeting. Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also joined later.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh did not attend the meeting.His office said he is not well and will not attend the Niti Aayog meeting either.
They discussed the proposed agenda/issues of states ruled by the Congress and its allies to be taken up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the meeting of the Niti Aayog, sources said.
Among the issues they discussed were efforts to revive rivers, the need to make new efforts by the Centre in the field of agriculture, the need to amend the Forest Act, to prevent the tribals and to bring about change in their lives and the need to make necessary changes to attract investment rather than exploitation of natural resources in Maoist affected am tribal areas.
Saturday’s meeting of the Niti Aayog is the first such meet after Prime Minister Modi returned to power last month.
The fifth meeting of the Niti Aayog’s Governing Council will focus on issues like the drought situation, farm distress, rain water harvesting and preparedness for kharif crops. The agenda for the meeting also includes aspirational districts programme, transforming agriculture and security related issues with special focus on left wing extremism (LWE) districts, according to an official statement.
Two leading chief ministers of opposition ruled states, Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and Telangana’s K Chandrashekhar Rao are not attending the Niti Ayog meeting. While Banerjee said it was fruitless to attend the meeting, Rao is said to have been upset at being denied an appointment with the Prime Minister for a one-on-one meeting.