The Chhattisgarh

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Manmohan Singh Meets Congress Chief Ministers Ahead Of NITI Aayog Meeting

Four Congress chief ministers and Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy met former prime minister Manmohan Singh this morning to discuss issues of their respective states, especially those related to farmers and tribals, to be taken up at the NITI Aayog meeting.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and Puducherry’s V Narayansamy held a meeting with Manmohan Singh at the Congress headquarters in Delhi. Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel also joined the meeting later.

Mr Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) is heading a coalition government with the Congress in Karnataka.

They discussed the proposed agenda and issues of their respective states to be taken up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the NITI Ayog meeting later today, sources told news agency Press Trust of India.

Among the issues discussed were injecting life back in water bodies, fresh efforts needed from the Centre in the agricultural sector and amendment in the Forest Act to bring about change and prosperity in the lives of the tribals.

Mr Baghel, Mr Kumaraswamy and Mr Narayansamy also separately called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

On Friday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath had hosted a dinner at his residence where Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel and V Narayansamy were present. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh could not make it for the dinner and is likely to skip the NITI Aayog meeting today as well.

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, sources told PTI.

The fifth meeting of the NITI Aayog’s Governing Council will focus on issues like the drought situation, farm distress, rain water harvesting and preparedness for kharif crops.

The five-point agenda for the meeting also includes the aspirational districts programme, transforming agriculture and security related issues with special focus on left wing extremism (LWE) districts, an official statement said.

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