Mamata Banerjee to skip NITI Aayog meet, Bengal BJP terms her ‘anti-national’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mamata-banerjee-niti-aayog-governing-council-meeting-prime-minister-narendra-modi-west-bengal-bjp-anti-national-5769859/

Mamata Banerjee to skip NITI Aayog meet, Bengal BJP terms her ‘anti-national’

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the West Bengal Chief Minister on Friday wrote that it is "fruitless" for her to attend the meeting of a body that is "bereft of any financial powers."

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This is not the first time that Mamata Banerjee is skipping any of Niti Aayog’s meet. (File)

Hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that she will not attend the Niti Aayog meeting scheduled for June 15, the state BJP termed her ‘anti-national’ and alleged that she was trying to scuttle the growth of the state.

State BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar, while speaking to PTI, said that the Chief Minister’s move was against the interest and welfare of the nation. “When the entire country is moving forward under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mamata is the only one opposing it. Even chief ministers of Congress-ruled states are attending the Niti Aayog meeting,” Majumdar said.

“This (Mamata’s decision) is against the interest of the nation. She is behaving like an anti-national, trying to scuttle the growth of Bengal,” he added.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the West Bengal Chief Minister on Friday wrote that it is “fruitless” for her to attend the meeting of a body that is “bereft of any financial powers.”

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“Given the fact that the Niti Aayog has no financial powers and the power to support State Plans, it is fruitless for me to attend the meeting of a body that is bereft of any financial powers,” her letter read.

“Unfortunately, a new body called Niti Aayog was formed on January 1, 2015, in place of Planning Commission, without assigning any financial powers to assist the States, based on their need assessment, as was being done by the erstwhile Planning Commission. Furthermore, the new body also lacks the power of supporting the Annual Plan of the States,” the letter added.

However, this is not the first time that Mamata is skipping any of Niti Aayog’s meet. She has skipped the organisation’s meet earlier too, citing displeasure over the dissolution of Planning Commission and the creation of a new structure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to chair the fifth meeting of Niti Aayog’s Governing Council on June 15.

(With ENS inputs)