Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, popularly called KCR, announced on Saturday, 6 August, that he will boycott the upcoming 7th governing council meeting of NITI Aayog. This is to mark his "strong protest against" central government discriminating states, KCR wrote in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at a press conference held in Hyderabad the CM also lambasted the Centre for violating the spirit of cooperative federalism and not treating the states as equal partners. The NITI Aayog meeting is expected to be held on 7 August.
'Centre Not Upholding Cooperative Federalism'
KCR's letter, a copy of which was released to the media, read, "States have not been co-opted in the preparation of agenda of NITI Aayog meetings. When Planning Commission was there, it used to have a detailed interactive discussion with the states on annual plan."
The letter also states that the Centre ignored NITI Aayog's recommendations for release of grants for Telangana's irrigation projects Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha.
"I find the Centre micro-managing the schemes, giving a complete go by to state-specific needs which are best left to individual states. It is not just in case of such schemes, but the Centre has also turned a Nelson's eye even to the recommendations of NITI Aayog itself..."Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao
The CM also said that the Centre should scrap GST imposed on milk products and handloom textiles. In the press conference the CM said, "Don't curtail the progress of the performing states." He wrote in his letter, "I may reiterate that India as a nation can develop only when the states develop."
NITI Aayog, as reported by ANI, has responded stating, "Number of measures already in place to work closely with states. Last year, over 30 meetings were held with CMs. Delegation also met with Telangana CM in Hyderabad last year. Recently, despite requests for a meeting, the CM did not respond."
(With inputs from ANI)