Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao stayed away from the sixth governing council meeting of NITI Aayog presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Another prominent absentee on the occasion was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who, however, did not take part in the earlier meetings also on the ground that it was a fruitless exercise as NITI Aayog did not have financial powers.
The governing council comprises Chief Ministers of all States and Union Territories with legislatures and Lieutenant Governors of other Union Territories. After the meeting on Saturday, the highlights of the speeches made by the Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors were posted on the Twitter handle of NITI Aayog. But, Telangana was not represented.
A senior official of CMO said they were unaware of the reasons for Mr. Rao’s absence. Incidentally, this was the first time that he kept himself away. Sources analysed that probably Mr. Rao might have taken cue from Ms. Banerjee that it was no use attending the meeting as repeated representations of the State government to Centre for release of funds to Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya programmes on the basis of recommendations by NITI Aayog went in vain. The body had recommended ₹ 24,000 crore for the twin programmes over five years ago.