New Delhi: NITI Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant said multiple invitations were sent to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to attend the think tank’s governing council meeting today.
However, Kant, while addressing a press conference, stated that no response was received on the invitations.
“An invitation was sent to him like all other states. He was invited multiple times but there was no response from his side,” he said.
Responding to a question on Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s presence in the meeting, Kant said the meeting could not have been attended by a representative, as it is the highest policy-making body of the country.
“Only chief ministers were invited,” he added.
Kejriwal did not attend the NITI Aayog meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but claimed that Lieutenant General Baijal would attend the same.
However, Kant took to Twitter earlier in the day to dismiss the aforementioned claim.
“This is totally incorrect. Lt. Governor of Delhi is not present at the Fourth Meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog,” he tweeted.
This is totally incorrect. Lt. Governor of Delhi is not present at the Fourth Meeting of the Govening Council of NITI Aayog. https://t.co/1U95F4wz59
— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) 17 June 2018
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said other absentee chief ministers explained their absence, but the same was not done by Kejriwal.
On a related note, Kejriwal is on sit-in strike at Raj Niwas, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor, since June 11 demanding a direction to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers working under the Delhi administration to end their ‘undeclared strike’, among other demands.