Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)[India], August 7 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP K Laxman on Sunday slammed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for boycotting the NITI Aayog meeting stating that "it will be a big loss for the state".
The seventh meeting of the Governing Council of Niti Aayog at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre in the national capital is underway.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing the meeting. The meeting is the first in-person meeting of the Governing Council since July 2019.
KCR said he will boycott the meeting saying he doesn't find it useful to attend the meeting and his decision is a mark of protest against what he termed as the Centre's alleged blatant discrimination against states including Telangana.
Responding to KCR's statement, the BJP MP Laxman said, "This is most unfortunate politics as it has nothing to do with Niti Aayog. Boycotting the meeting will not cause loss to him or his family but it is a big loss for the state."
He further said that being a Chief Minister, KCR should attend meeting to discuss and raise issues related to the state.
"Niti Aayog was formed so that chief ministers can discuss issues, can give their advice and ask questions from the government. Now you left this opportunity.KCR should come to the meeting and discuss whatever KCR had said in front of media," said BJP MP.
The BJP leader said that the people of Telangana are fed up with the TRS government and they think that BJP is the only alternative for Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
"We have ample time to discuss here and now KCR is running from the meeting to cover up his failures. He is trying to divert the attention of the people by boycotting NITI Aayog. Now Telangana people are fed up with the TRS government and understand that only BJP is a reliable party who thinks about people welfare and TRS only alternative is BJP," he added.
Earlier addressing a press conference KCR said, "As a mark of serious protest against the Government of India, I am boycotting the NITI Aayog meeting in Delhi because the cooperative federalism and the team India spirit is totally lost by the central government and NITI Aayog."
The TRS chief alleged the Centre is running a "dictatorship" and is imposing schemes which are undesirable to the states. He said the GST imposed on handloom products, milk and crematorium should be withdrawn.
The agenda of the NITI Aayog meeting includes crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in oilseeds and pulses and agri-communities; implementation of the National Education Policy-school education; implementation of the National Education Policy-higher education; and urban governance.
In the drive toward building a steady, sustainable and inclusive India, the seventh governing council meeting of the government think tank Niti Aayog is expected to pave the way for synergies towards a new era of collaboration and cooperation between the Centre and states and union territories.
As India commemorates 75 years of Independence, it is the need of the hour for the states to be agile, resilient and self-reliant and move towards 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat' in a spirit of cooperative federalism, an official statement said.
As part of preparations for this meeting, the National Conference of Chief Secretaries was held in Dharamshala in June 2022 which was the culmination of the six-month-long rigorous exercise by the Centre and States.
The conference was chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs, along with senior officials of the Central and State Governments.
The governing council comprises the Prime Minister of India; Chief Ministers of all the states and union territories with the legislature; Lt Governors of other UTs; Ex-Officio Members; Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Full-Time Members, NITI Aayog; and Union Ministers as Special Invitees.
The statement said that the meeting is particularly important as the country enters Amrit Kaal against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and in light of India hosting the G20 Presidency and summit next year. The meeting would also lay emphasis on the importance of the Presidency for India for the federal system and the role that states can play in highlighting their progress at the G-20 Platform. (ANI)