Boycotting Niti Aayog meeting against federalism: Jaitley

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said that certain non-BJP chief ministers skipping the Niti Aayog meeting in New Delhi was “against the spirit of federalism”.

“Those who chose to boycott (Niti Aayog meeting) must introspect whether not attending the meeting is in tune with the spirit of federalism,” Jaitley said at a press conference here after the Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded.

Jaitley said 16 chief ministers were present at the meeting.

Nine chief ministers of Congress-ruled states, Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal and Akhilesh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh were among those who boycotted the meeting of Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.

Also missing was Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, but Jaitley said he could not attend because of some other engagement.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who is in the US for treatment, was represented by trusted aide and former chief minister O. Paneerselvam.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were among the attendees.

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