Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday saying that he will be boycotting the seventh Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog, scheduled to be held on August 7, as a mark of protest against the Centre's alleged blatant discrimination against states including Telangana.
Rao alleged that the Centre is not treating states as equal partners in efforts to make India a developed country.
In the letter, Chief Minister Rao on Saturday stated, "I do not find it useful to attend the 7th Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog scheduled to be held on August 7 and I am staying away from it as a mark of strong protest against the present trend of the Central Govt to discriminate against the states and not treating them as equal partners in our collective efforts to make India a strong and developed country."
"NITI Aayog was started as a new institution with the lofty objective of bringing the states on the same page with the Centre for ensuring the equitable development of our country in the true spirit of cooperative federalism," stated the letter.
He further stated that the underlying principle was that cooperative federalism was the adhesive that would bind the states and Centre together as 'Team India' and help India emerge as a strong nation.
"The other idea behind the initiative of NITI Aayog was the realization that only strong states can make a strong nation," he added.
"But recent unpleasant happenings have given rise to an inescapable realization that the federal structure of India is being systematically eroded by some deliberate actions by the Government of India," he said.
"Needless to say, these developments are very discouraging to trailblazing states like Telangana. The blatant discrimination against some states even in the legitimate functions assigned to them in the Constitution leaves much to be desired," he further said.
"Way back in 2016, NITI Aayog recommended a grant of Rs 5,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya to restore minor irrigation tanks in Telangana. Another recommendation of the NITI Aayog was to provide central assistance of Rs 19,205 crore (out of a total project cost of Rs 42,850 crore) for Mission Bhagiratha, a pioneering scheme in the country, which has been completed in Telangana, to provide drinking water to every household of the state," he stated.
"The Government of India has not only ignored these recommendations but also did not release money for the scheme," he alleged in the letter. (ANI)