NEW DELHI, July 15 - After waiting for months for an appointment with the Prime Minister, five of the eight Chief Ministers of the Northeast on Wednesday skipped a meeting with Narendra Modi, with only the Chief Ministers of Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim attending it.
At least four of the five Chief Ministers of the region, who head Congress governments in the States, boycotted the NITI Aayog meeting this morning and did not even turn up in the National Capital. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who had come to Delhi to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, too, returned to Guwahati this morning.
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar attended the meeting here this evening.
Interestingly, the Prime Minister has turned down an invitation to attend an iftar party hosted by the President citing the meeting with the Chief Ministers of the northeastern States.
BJP leader Sudhanshu Trivedi said that Modi was preoccupied with some important programmes and therefore, would not be able to attend the Rashtrapati Bhavan event. �The Prime Minister is preoccupied with important programmes. He has a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the northeastern States,� he said.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Prime Minister humiliated the Chief Ministers for nearly seven months and didn�t give them appointment. Now, just because he wants to find an excuse to skip the President�s iftar, he has scheduled the meeting, he said, adding, they must understand that the boycott is a legitimate form of dissent in a democracy.