New Delhi, June 7: After sending a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that she would not be attending Niti Aayog meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that Planning Commission was more effective than Niti Aayog and urged to bring it back. The Trinamool Congress supremo earlier after refusing June 15 meeting said that it is "fruitless" for her. Mamata Banerjee Not to Attend NITI Aayog Governing Council Meet on June 15, Writes to PM Narendra Modi Terming Meeting as 'Fruitless'.
"The same letter (letter informing her about a meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on June 15) was given to me earlier. Planning Commission was more effective than NITI Aayog. It would have been more successful. Planning Commission should be brought back," said Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee Signs Election Strategist Prashant Kishor as BJP Eyes to West Bengal From TMC in 2021.
Tweet by ANI:
WB CM: The same letter (letter informing her about a meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on June 15) was given to me earlier. Planning Commission was more effective than NITI Aayog. It would have been more successful. Planning Commission should be brought back. pic.twitter.com/qHdrk1UL0Y
— ANI (@ANI) June 7, 2019
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Banerjee said, "Given the fact that the Niti Aayog has no financial powers and the power to support state plans it is fruitless for me to attend the meeting of a body that is bereft of any financial powers."
“Unfortunately, a new body called Niti Aayog was formed on January 1, 2015, in place of Planning Commission, without assigning any financial powers to assist the States, based on their need assessment, as was being done by the erstwhile Planning Commission. Furthermore, the new body also lacks the power of supporting the Annual Plan of the States,” the letter added.
This move was criticised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who termed TMC chief as "anti-national". West Bengal BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar, while speaking to news agency PTI, said that the CM’s move was against the interest and welfare of the nation.
“When the entire country is moving forward under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mamata is the only one opposing it. Even chief ministers of Congress-ruled states are attending the Niti Aayog meeting,” Majumdar said. “This (Mamata’s decision) is against the interest of the nation. She is behaving like an anti-national, trying to scuttle the growth of Bengal,” he added.
However, this is not the first time that Mamata Banerjee is skipping any Niti Aayog meet. She also skipped the organisation's meeting citing displeasure over the dissolution of Planning Commission (PC) and the creation of a new structure. Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi will chair the fifth meeting of Niti Aayog Governing Council on June 15.