Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) on Saturday said that he will skip the Niti Aayog’s 7th Governing Council meeting to protest against discrimination of states by the Centre. In a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, KCR lashed out against the Centre also for not taking against various issues plaguing affecting the nation.
”In view of these facts (listed out in letter), I do not find it useful to attend the 7th Governing Council meeting of NITI AAYOG scheduled to be held on August 7, 2022 and I am staying away from it as a mark of strong protest against the present trend of Central government to discriminate against the states and not treating them as equal partners in our collective effort to make India a strong and developed country,” said KCR about the upcoming Niti Aayog Governing Council meeting.
KCR added that “unpleasant happenings” in India have led to an “inescapable realisation” that the federal structure of India is being systematically eroded by some deliberate actions of the Centre. He blamed the Modi-led central government, and said such developments are discouraging to “trailblazing” states like Telangana.
Alleging blatant discrimination, KCR said that a major recommendation of the group of chief ministers in Niti Aayog was that in respect of the central sector schemes, states should be given flexibility to design or modify the schemes. He however claimed that the Centre is “micro managing” schemes, and giving a “complete go by” to state-specific needs.
‘Centre has turned Nelson’s eye even to Niti Aayog’s recommendations’
The Telangana chief minister also charged the Centre of turning “a Nelson’s eye” even to the recommendations of NITI Aayog itself. “Way back in 2016, NITI AAYOG had recommended a grant of Rs.5,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya to restore minor irrigation tanks in Telangana,” said KCR in letter.
He added that another recommendation was to provide a central assistance of Rs 19,205 crore (out of total project cost of 42,850 crore) for Mission Bhagiratha, a government scheme in Telangana to provide drinking water to every household. KCR alleged that the Centre not only ignored these recommendations, but also that no money was released any money for the schemes.
Charging the Centre with letting inflation skyrocketing in India, KCR said that the country is passing through a “most difficult phase with unprecedented problems” like rupee’s value falling. He added that high inflation, skyrocketing prices and increasing unemployment coupled with low economic growth will people’s lives.
“But these are not discussed in NITI Aayog meetings. I find the Union Government a silent spectator to this emerging serious scenario, often resorting to jugglery of words playing on people’s emotions,” the Telangana chief minister said.
“The Telangana government had completed both the schemes on its own ensuring supply of potable water to every household under Mission Bhagiratha project and repairing and restoring all the minor irrigation tanks in the State under Mission Kakatiya…,” KCR added. He also flayed the central government for “unabashedly” issuing statements and for allegedly taking credit for the achievements of the TRS-run government in Telangana.
“The Centre’s actions show that the initiative has gone astray as States are not included as equal partners in the national development agenda. States have not been co-opted in the preparation of agenda of NITI Ayog meetings. When Planning Commission was there, it used to have a detailed interactive discussion with the States on Annual Plan,” said KCR, about the former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
‘Use of bulldozers, references with religious undertones disrupting communal harmony’
The Telangana chief minister also said that irresponsible utterances of some leaders in high positions on use of bulldozers and references with religious undertones are disrupting the communal harmony of India. “Yet the Union Government does not take any action to control the situation,” KCR said. The chief minister added that cooperative federalism, which is part of the Indian constitution, is being deliberately disregarded.