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NITI Aayog’s Reaction To KCR’s Queries Political In Nature: Telangana Minister K Chandrashekar Rao

Observing that the NITI Aayog has to ensure that the Centre concedes to the demands of the States, the Telangana Minister asked where is the cooperative federalism if the rights of the States are lost.

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Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao File photo

NITI Aayog’s “knee-jerk reaction” to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s questions was more of political in nature, said State Minister of Finance T Harish Rao while slamming the NDA government’s think-tank on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters, the Minister said NITI Aayog’s response to the Chief Minister's boycotting its 7th Governing Council meeting held today was half-truth. Chandrashekar Rao, also known as KCR, on Saturday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would be skipping the NITI Aayog meet as a mark of protest against the present "discriminating" attitude of the Centre towards States.

NITI Aayog termed the boycott as "unfortunate' and dismissed the charges levelled by KCR. “NITI Aayog did not care to give Rs 24,000 crore to Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya. The value of NITI Aayog has gone down. Is it not the Centre which is degrading the image of NITI Aayog?,” Harish Rao asked.

Observing that the NITI Aayog has to ensure that the Centre concedes to the demands of the States, the Telangana Minister asked where is the cooperative federalism if the rights of the States are lost. There was no answer to a single question asked by KCR. The Centre claims that Telangana utilised only Rs 200 crore out of the Rs 3,922 crore under Jal Jeevan Mission. It is far from the truth, Harish Rao said.

He further said the NDA government at the Centre collected Rs 15,47,560 crore in the form of cess in the past seven years; this year, it was Rs 5,35,112 crores totalling nearly Rs 21 lakh crore. He demanded 41 per cent of it as devolution, and Rs 8.60 lakh crore should be distributed to all the States.

“A lot of injustice is being done to States by way of cess,” Harish Rao said. NITI Aayog had said a delegation led by its vice-chairman met KCR in Hyderabad on January 21, 2021, to discuss development issues pertaining to the State. "More recently, despite requests made by NITI Aayog for a meeting, KCR did not respond," it added.

Meanwhile, Union minister G Kishan Reddy on Sunday tweeted, "KCR & his MLAs have been using social media to rant about central govt's policies & development-related issues. In the same vein, he decides not to attend @NITIAayog's Meeting, which is a forum for both centre & state govts to discuss development-related issues & their solutions."

He said in a tweet after holding a press conference in Delhi.

"KCR claims to have brought a revolution in Telangana.. The #Farmhousefamily should step out of their Farm House to listen to the woes of Telangana people, suffering under their misrule," he said in another tweet.

(with inputs from PTI)

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