Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not to attend the Niti Aayog meeting scheduled for June 15.
Mamata in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that since the Niti Aayog has no authority to grant financial support to states it will be futile for her to attend the meeting.
“ Given the fact that the Niti Aayog has no financial power and the power to support state plans, it is fruitless for me to attend the meeting,” stated Banerjee in the letter.
The development comes at a time when the relationship between the Centre and the West Bengal government is under severe strain. Earlier Banerjee had skipped several Niti Aayog meetings and last year she had sent state’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra for the meeting.
Mamata has always been critical of the NDA government’s decision to dissolve the Planing Commission and replace it with the Niti Aayog .
She also expressed her displeasure with the prime minister’s decision to dissolve the Planing Commission and set up the Niti Aayog .
“ I was surprised by your unilateral announcement which was not preceded by any discussions with the chief ministers of the states for their views,” stated Mamata.
She argued that the Centre should emphasis on the Inter-State Council to strengthen the federal structure.
“ May I also reiterate that the National Development Council, which has been given a quiet burial, may also be subsumed within the broadened constitutional body of the Inter State Council,” stated Mamata in her letter.
She also demanded that Election Commissioners be selected through a Collegium like in the Supreme Court.
Mamata urged the Opposition parties to unitedly demand the constitution of a fact-finding committee to expose alleged EVM tampering and other electoral malpractice.