All Congress Chief Ministers, Tamil Nadu’s J Jayalalithaa, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee all gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NITI Aayog meeting on the controversial land acquisition bill at 7, RCR a miss on Wednesday morning.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley later slammed the absence of those invited saying, “All those who chose to boycott must introspect whether not attending NITI Aayog meeting is in consonance with the spirit of cooperative federalism.”
Jaitley said that the 16 CMs who attended suggested that either the Centre evolves a consensus on land Bill or give flexibility to states to frame their own laws. “Many CMs were of the view that delay in implementing land Bill was slowing development projects,” Jaitley added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that in the meeting he opposed amendments in the land acquisition bill and said Centre’s interference in Delhi was against cooperative federalism.
“Suggested a separate session of Niti Ayog on Centre state relations n Cooperative Federalism,” Kejriwal tweeted.
Attended Niti Ayog meet. Opposed Land Acq amendments. Also said that centre’s interference in Delhi was against coop federalism(1/2)
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 15, 2015
Suggested a separate session of Niti Ayog on Centre state relations n Cooperative Federalism(2/2) — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 15, 2015
Others who attended the event included Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is currently embroiled in the deadly Vyapam scam.
While Banerjee did not attend the meeting owing to her disagreement with the land acquisition bill, Patnaik had prior commitments. Jayalalithaa sent her speech for the meeting through a letter to the PM.
In the evening, the PM will have a separate meetings with Chief Ministers of North-eastern states, including Sikkim.