Before heading for the Niti Aayog meeting, four Congress chief ministers and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy met former prime minister (PM) Manmohan Singh at Congress central headquarters on Saturday, to shortlist matters related to Forest Act, tribals and farmers to be taken up during the meet.
MP CM Kamal Nath, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy and Kumaraswamy met the former PM. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel also joined the meeting later.
They discussed the proposed agenda/issues of Congress and Congress allies governed states to be discussed at the Niti Aayog meeting, sources said.
Sources said that the issues discussed with Singh were rejuvenation of water bodies, including rivers, need of fresh efforts from the Centre in the agricultural sector and seeking amendment in the Forest Act to improve lives of tribals. They also discussed a need for drafting a policy for drawing investment for development in Maoist affected and tribal areas instead of exploiting natural resources there.
Sources said the flagged issues had been focus areas in the past Congress governments. Baghel, Kumaraswamy and Narayanasamy also called PM Modi separately and discussed issues of their respective states.
Puducherry CM talked with PM Modi about including the state in the 15th Finance Commission, statehood for Puducherry, increase in the grant amount from 26% to 42% and the 7th pay commission arrears not paid by Central Government.
Baghel tweeted that in meeting with PM Modi he requested for redressal of the pending issues related to 70 lakh tribals and 58 lakh poor families in Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, Gehlot met the Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman and discussed financial issues related to his state.
He also requested approval for proposals of several pending drinking water projects and ensure timely release of funds of centrally-sponsored schemes.