On Saturday, 27th May, the meeting of the NITI Aayog began in New Delhi, but in what seems to have become a norm for the opposition parties of the country, this meeting, as well, was boycotted by a number of Chief Ministers. Those who skipped the meeting include West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee; Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot; Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal; Punjab Chief Minister, Bhagwant Mann; Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar; Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, MK Stalin; and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, KC Rao.
The agenda of the meeting is to discuss several crucial issues including health, skill development, women empowerment, and infrastructure development, the objective being making India a developed nation by the year 2047.
Following the meeting’s ‘boycott’, the BJP said that the decision of the involved CMs was ‘anti-people’ and ‘irresponsible’, as they did not bring to the table, the voice of the people of their states. Addressing a press conference, BJP leader and former Union Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that the NITI Aayog is a key body for determining the entire objective, policy framework, and roadmap for the development of the country. He added that while more than 100 issues are proposed to be discussed during this 8th governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog, CMs of 8 states have decided not to attend it.
Prasad stated, “It is very unfortunate, irresponsible, and anti-people, and the people of the states will be’ directly affected’ by the absence of their Chief Ministers at the meeting”. He further asked, “How far will you go in opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi”? And said, “You will get more opportunities to oppose Modi, but why are you causing harm to the people of your state”?