NITI Aayog Meet
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the NITI Aayog's fifth governing council meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the NITI Aayog's fifth governing council meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. 

This would be the first meeting of the planning body after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance formed a new government at the centre after a stellar win in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election.

Farm distress, drought and security concerns in Maoist-affected districts will be high on the agenda.The meeting will be attended by chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, union ministers and senior government officials.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, however, has refused to attend the meeting, saying it is "fruitless" as the Niti Aayog has no financial powers to support state plans. Her Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekar Rao too will skip the meeting.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is up in arms against the BJP in her state, has refused to attend the NITI Aayog meeting. She has said it was "unacceptable" that the centre should expect states to discuss only specific agendas that it brings to the table.
 
K Chandrashekar Rao aka KCR won't attend the meet today as he is said to be busy with preparations for the inauguration of an irrigation project in Telangana. He had sought an appointment with PM Modi this week to invite him for the event, but did not one.
 
KCR is yet to meet PM Modi after the national election results. He had also skipped PM Modi's oath-taking ceremony last month.
 
Andhra Pradesh's new Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday evening and discussed the special status demand for his state, a day before the NITI Aayog meet.
 
Mr Reddy said he took an appointment with the Home Minister "to try and prevail on him and to also soften PM's heart on the special category status, what we will definitely be asking for in tomorrow's (Saturday) NITI Aayog meeting."
 
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is also expected to raise the demand for special status to his state. Mr Kumar, a BJP ally, has considerable presence in the Lok Sabha. He has been pressing for the status for a many years now.
 
To push its demand for special category status for Odisha, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is planning to join hands with the YSR Congress and the JD(U) in parliament and raise their voice unitedly."Though the idea is in nascent stage, we are in favour of making a move with other parties in order to make impact in Parliament," BJD Parliamentary Party leader and Puri Lok Sabha lawmaker Pinaki Mishra told PTI.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath hosted a dinner for the Chief Ministers of Congress ruled states. Congress chief ministers Amarinder Singh, Bhupesh Baghel, V Narayanasamy and Ashok Gehlot have been invited.
 
The Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states are expected to raise key farmers issues and also share the benefits of the loan waiver scheme implemented by them at the NITI Aayog meeting, PTI reported. 
 
In the first governing council meeting in February 2015, the Prime Minister had laid down key mandates of the think-tank, such as fostering cooperative federalism and addressing national issues through active participation of the states.
 
The second meeting, which took place in July 2015, reviewed the progress made by three sub-groups of chief ministers and two task forces. 
 
The third meeting, held in April 2017, laid down milestones for shaping the country's development agenda through strategy and vision documents.
 
The fourth governing council meeting, conducted on June 17 last year, reviewed steps adopted to double farmers' income and progress made under flagship schemes.
 
The NITI Aayog was founded in 2014 during PM Modi's first tenure. The think tank replaced decades old Planning Commission.
 
The governing council is responsible for evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states.
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