KCR to boycott Niti Ayog meet to protest Centre's discrimination against states

“I am staying away as a mark of strong protest against the present trend of the Central government to discriminate against states and not treating them as equal partners in our collective effort to make India a strong and developed country,” KCR said in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  6 Aug 2022 12:54 PM GMT
KCR to boycott Niti Ayog meet to protest Centres discrimination against states

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekar Rao said he will not attend Niti Ayog's 7th Governing Council meeting, set to be held on 7 August, to protest against the Centre's discrimination.

"I am staying away as a mark of strong protest against the present trend of the Central government to discriminate against states and not treating them as equal partners in our collective effort to make India a strong and developed country," KCR said in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He said Niti Ayog was started with the lofty objective of bringing the states on the same page with the Centre to ensure equitable development of the country in the true spirit of cooperative federalism. The underlying principle was that cooperative federalism was the adhesive that would bind the states and Centre together as Team India and help India emerge as a strong nation, KCR said.

"But the recent unpleasant happenings have given rise to an inescapable realization that the federal structure of India is being systematically eroded by some deliberate actions by the government of India. Needless to say, these developments are very discouraging to trailblazing states like Telangana," he wrote.

In the beginning, Niti Ayog constituted a group of chief ministers to give recommendations on developmental issues.

"A major recommendation of the group was that in respect of the Central sector schemes, states should be given the flexibility to design or modify the schemes based on their needs and conditions to ensure maximum benefit to the people," said KCR.

He further said the recommendation was kept aside and that he found out that the Centre was micro-managing the schemes, giving a complete go-by to state-specific needs that are best left to individual states.

"Way back in 2016, Niti Ayog had recommended a grant of Rs. 5,000 crores for Mission Kakatiya to restore minor irrigation tanks in Telangana. Another recommendation of Niti Ayog was to provide Central assistance of Rs. 19,205 crores (out of the total project cost of Rs. 42,850 crores) for Mission Bhagiratha, a pioneering scheme in the country, which has been completed in Telangana, to provide drinking water to every household in the state," the letter read.

According to KCR, the government of India not only ignored these recommendations but also did not release any money for the schemes.

"When the facts are like this, the Centre had unabashedly issued statements taking credit for the achievements of Telangana by claiming that Telangana is one of the states which provides drinking water to every household under the banner of Jal Jeevan Mission, a Central scheme," he said.

KCR said states have not been involved in preparing the agenda of Niti Ayog meetings either. "When Planning Commission was there, it used to have a detailed interactive discussion with the states on the Annual Plan. Now, there is neither a plan nor any involvement of states and clearly, Niti Ayog and its meetings serve no constructive purpose. The rigmarole of Niti Ayog meetings leaves little scope for a meaningful dialogue, as participating chief ministers are given hardly a few minutes to speak and express their views, thereby not giving any scope to discuss anything in detail," the Telangana CM said.

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