After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided to skip the 8th Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog in the national capital on Saturday in protest against the Centre’s ordinance on control of services in Delhi. Chief Minister of AAP-ruled Punjab, Bhagawant Mann, has also declared to boycott Niti Aayog meeting citing the alleged discrimination against the state by the Centre over the issue of grant of funds,
"The way democracy has been attacked, non-BJP governments have been toppled and stopped from functioning in the last few years, it’s neither vision of India nor cooperative federalism.
There is no point in attending the Niti Aayog meeting when the Constitution and democracy are being openly violated and cooperative federalism is being rendered as a joke. People are saying that we should not go to the Niti Aayog meeting on Saturday. Therefore, it will not be possible for me to attend the meeting," Kejriwal said in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva, lambasted Kejriwal saying that the language of the letter written by Kejriwal to the Prime Minister clearly shows that he is a victim of political frustration and depression.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the Niti Aayog Governing Council meeting. The Niti Aayog meeting will deliberate on several issues, including, health, skill development, women empowerment and infrastructure development, with an aim to make India a developed nation by 2047. The council, the apex body of Niti Aayog, includes all chief ministers, lieutenant governors of Union Territories, and several Union ministers.
The Chief Minister has appealed for the free functioning of non-BJP governments and urged the Prime Minister to respect the orders of the Supreme Court.
Furthermore, Kejriwal has expressed concern over the PM’s selective support extended to BJP governments while hindering the work of non-BJP governments. He has cautioned the PM that such biassed actions would ultimately impede the development of the nation and hinder the collective progress of all states. In his letter, the Chief Minister has highlighted the disturbing trend of non-BJP governments being toppled, overthrown, or hindered from functioning effectively.
He noted that such actions do not align with the spirit of cooperative federalism, which is the objective of the NITI Aayog. He has also emphasised that it has become increasingly clear that non-BJP governments face significant challenges and resistance in carrying out their mandates.
The AAP and chief minister said after a struggle of eight years, the people of the national capital won the fight in the Supreme Court and got justice, referring to the apex court’s May 11 verdict giving elected arm of government in Delhi executive power including transfer and postings of officers, that was earlier Lt Governor’s domain. "In just eight days you passed an ordinance to overturn the SC verdict," Kejriwal said.
If an officer of the Delhi government does not work, the government elected by the people cannot take action against him, he claimed. "How will the government work in this way? This is completely paralysing the government. Why do you want to paralyse the Delhi government ? Is this the vision of India, is this cooperative federalism?," he questioned in the letter to Modi. There is strong opposition among people in the country against the ordinance brought by the Centre, kejriwal asserted and added that the "people are asking if the Prime Minister does not even follow the Supreme Court, where will they go ?"
He alleged that either the non-BJP governments are toppled through horse trading of their MLAs or they are weaned away through the "threat" of ED or CBI and if the legislators of any party are not bought or defect, its government is stopped from working through an ordinance or governor.