New Delhi/ June,19 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an all-party meeting today to discuss two key issues – his initiative of “One Nation One Election” and the Niti Aayog’s proposal of developing “aspirational districts”, that involves fast-tracking a rise in socio-economic condition of 117 districts across 28 states. The government had invited the chiefs of all parties for the meeting. Leaders of five key parties – among them three Chief Ministers – are however giving the meeting a miss.Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and Telangana’s K Chandrashekar Rao are not attending the meeting. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and DMK chief MK Stalin have also expressed inability to attend.
Mr Kejriwal and Mr Naidu have delegated representatives – Aam Aadmi Party’s Raghav Chadha and TDP’s Jayadev Galla will represent them at the meeting.
Telangana Chief Minister Mr Rao’s son and Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s Working President KT Rama Rao will attend the meeting in his place.
Mr Rao, who had skipped an earlier meeting of the Niti Aayog governing council chaired by the Prime Minister, has expressed his disappointment with the Centre, saying his state has been ignored by the government.”What is there to discuss? We will only maintain constitutional relations with Centre. I still back my Federal Front. No use talking to Centre. We didn’t even get one rupee for the state. I have already stated that Modi runs a fascist govt. It is a fact on record,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Mamata Banerjee wrote to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi yesterday, contending that a single meeting is not enough to respond on the “One Nation One Election” issue. “The matter requires consultations with constitutional experts, elections experts and above all the party members,” she said in her letter and asked the government to issue a White Paper on the issue.
Turning down the proposal of developing “aspirational districts”, Mamata Banerjee said her party is against such a project as “it would not conform to the overall objectives of achieving balanced and uniform development of all districts in the state”. Ms Banerjee, too, had skipped the Niti Aayog meeting.Today’s meeting is also expected to discuss the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year and celebration of 75 years of India’s Independence in 2022.