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Telangana CM KCR to boycott NITI Aayog meeting

Telangana CM KCR to boycott NITI Aayog meeting

Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday announced boycott of NITI Aayog meeting governing council meeting to be held in New Delhi on Sunday.

KCR wrote a letter to this effect to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that he wanted to convey a message to the entire country how the Centre was showing discrimination against the states and the NITI Aayog meeting was an exercise in futility, as the Centre would not implement any of its recommendations.

Describing NITI Aayog as a failed institution, KCR said it had been reduced to being an instrument to force the Centre’s ill-advised policies on the States.

He alleged that the Centre had given a go-bye to the spirit of cooperative federalism which was enshrined in the Constitution of India. 

He said the real federal spirit was to make states stronger with the belief that strong states make a strong country.

He recalled that when the NITI Aayog was constituted replacing the Planning Commission, a group of Chief Ministers was constituted to make recommendations on developmental issues. 

The major recommendation was to give some flexibility to states to design or modify the schemes based on their needs and conditions, but this recommendation was set aside and the Centre was micro-managing all its schemes leaving little scope for the States in the process.

The Centre had even turned a Nelson’s eye to the institution’s recommendation that Telangana be given Rs 5000 crore for Mission Kakatiya and Rs 19,205 crore for Misson Bhagiratha. But not a single paise was released so far despite its own recommendation, KCR pointed out. 

When Telangana completed both the projects on its own with its own funds, the Centre was blatantly trying to take credit for these two schemes.

The Telangana chief minister said at least with his boycott of the meeting, there should be a discussion on the reasons why “I am boycotting the meeting with pain and anguish”. 

“There is no use in attending the meeting as Chief Minister’s are given hardly three minutes of time to speak”, he observed.

Launching a diatribe against the Centre, the Telangana CM said the Centre had initiated steps which led to severe damage to the Indian economy. He explained how States determine their open market borrowings based on the provisions of the FRBM.

However, the Centre has included the borrowings of State PSUs for their capital needs to be treated as state government borrowings.

“This was not only done suddenly but with a clause of retrospective implementation, which put brakes on the progress of Telangana and many other States…This discrimination is practised against the States, without any compunction, even while the Government of India resorts to indiscriminate open market borrowings”.

Maintaining that he had no personal animosity with the Prime Minister, he pointed out that it was his duty and responsibility as a citizen to oppose any anti-people scheme.

“Modi is my friend, but when the issue pertains to people, I will highlight the injustice”, he said. 

Demanding that Modi government roll back its anti-people decisions he said if the demand was not conceded to, he would strive to build a nationwide movement against Centre’s policies.