PM Modi chairs 8th governing council meeting of Niti Aayog; Ashok Gehlot, 7 other CMs skips


Ashok Gehlot and seven other Chief Ministers are skipping the NITI Aayog Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today. Citing health reasons for not attending the meeting, Rajasthan’s Chief Minister has skipped the meeting. However, Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has not given any specific reason for his absence.

At the 8th Governing Council Meeting of Niti Aayog, PM Modi is expected to address several issues including, health, skill development, women empowerment, and infrastructure development, with an aim to make India a developed nation by 2047.

The theme for this meeting conducted at the new Convention Centre in Pragati Maidan, Delhi, is ‘Viksit Bharat @ 2047: Role of Team India’.

“Eight prominent themes will be discussed during the day-long Meeting including (i) Viksit Bharat@2047, (ii) Thrust on MSMEs, (iii) Infrastructure and Investments, (iv) Minimising Compliances, (v) Women Empowerment, (vi) Health and Nutrition, (vii) Skill Development, and (viii) Gati Shakti for area development and social infrastructure,” the NITI Aayog stated.

Earlier, opposition leaders, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, Telangana CM Chandrashekar Rao, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin, and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, decided to skip the meeting.  

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, in a letter to the Prime Minister on Friday, said that he was “boycotting” the meeting in protest against the “undemocratic and unconstitutional” May 19 ordinance that restored control over services in the national capital to the Centre under the LG, effectively nullifying a Supreme Court order that handed over control of services, barring police, public order and land, to the elected government. 

“After an eight-year struggle, the people of Delhi won in the Supreme Court, and in just eight days, you overturned the Supreme Court’s order by passing an ordinance. So, if any officer of the Delhi government fails to work, the elected government chosen by the people cannot take any action. How will such a government function? It is being made completely powerless,” Kejriwal said in the letter. 

Punjab CM Mann has decided to skip the meeting citing the Union government’s disregard for farmer-related concerns. 

Further, West Bengal CM Banerjee announced she would skip today’s Niti Aayog meeting. The reason behind Banerjee skipping the Niti Aayog meeting was not known. She is expcted to visit Khadikul village in Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal on Saturday to speak to the family members of those killed in a blast at an illegal firecracker manufacturing unit. 

In Patna, senior members of the Bihar cabinet said that Nitish Kumar expressed his inability to attend because of “prior commitments”, and said that they were yet to hear back from the Union government if someone else could take his place. 

Telangana Chief Minister’s office has said that CM Rao will not be present at the meeting due to a prearranged meeting with Arvind Kejriwal in Hyderabad on Saturday. 

Tamil Nadu officials have informed that Chief Minister MK Stalin will be absent from the meeting as he is currently on a three-day visit to Singapore and Japan.