Mamata likely to skip Niti Aayog meeting on Feb 20

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Kolkata, Feb 19 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to skip the Niti Aayog's governing council meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20, sources said on Friday.

The council, the apex body of the government's think tank, includes all chief ministers, lieutenant governors of Union Territories (UTs), several Union ministers and senior government officials.

The prime minister will chair the Saturday's meeting, where issues related to agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing and human resource development will be discussed, according to an official statement.

'Mamata Banerjee may not attend the Niti Aayog's February 20 meeting,' a senior TMC leader said on condition of anonymity.

Banerjee had earlier skipped the Niti Aayog's meetings and termed it as a 'fruitless' exercise, alleging that the body has 'no financial power' and cannot support the state plans.

The sixth meeting of the governing council will witness the entry of Ladakh for the first time, in addition to the participation of Jammu and Kashmir as a UT, the statement said.

This time, other UTs headed by administrators have also been invited to join, it added.

The governing council meets regularly and its first meeting took place on February 8, 2015.

However, the council did not meet last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PTI PNT BDC BDC