Hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to the Prime Minister saying that she will not attend the Niti Aayog meeting scheduled on June 15, she addressed a press conference expressing her reason about the same.
Banerjee said that there is nothing called Niti Aayog because the states do not get their space in the forum. She also said that the federal structure has been destroyed as there is no space for the states to express their views.
"There is nothing like Niti Aayog. They have even shut down the inter-state council. Therefore there is nothing where the states can express their views. In this federal structure, the state does not have a place to express their views. Niti Aayog decides 4-5 issues, the state's plan or budget or the financial situation are not in line with those issues. Niti Aayog does not have any power, just to show off. There's no point going there," Banerjee said.
On June 15, the Prime Minister will chair the first meeting of the government think-tank the Niti Aayog after forming the new government.
Informing about the meeting, official sources had said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the fifth meeting of Niti Aayog's Governing Council on June 15. Chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, several union ministers and senior government officials were scheduled to be present in the meeting. In the meeting the governing council is expected to discuss important subjects, including major issues concerning water management, agriculture, and aspirational district programme, according to official sources.
Headed by the Prime Minister, the Governing Council meets regularly, and its first meeting took place on February 8, 2015. The second meeting of the council on July 15, 2015, reviewed the progress made by the three sub-groups of chief ministers and the two task forces.
West Bengal Mamata Banerjee is in loggerheads with the BJP since the party has started making inroads in the West Bengal. In the Lok Sabha elections, BJP won 18 seats compared to Trinamool's 22 seats. Her decision to not attend the meeting of the Niti Aayog comes a day after she accused the BJP of murdering a TMC worker in North 24 Pargana district.