New Delhi, July 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with chief ministers of 31 states on Saturday. The Inter-State Council Meet is currently underway at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Interestingly, Modi’s arch rival, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is also in attendance.

The meet was called by the Centre to discuss federal issues, including the devolution of taxes, aids from the central government and the needs and requirements of different regions across the nation. Government of India showed a non-partisan approach by reaching out to non-NDA government as well. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who was earlier rumoured to be skipping the event, was also seen in the attendance. However, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah has skipped the meeting.

“We don’t get a lot of opportunities where heads of the country and the states all come together. Vajpayee ji said ‘for a big nation like India, debate, deliberation and discussion affects policies’. The nation can only progress if the state governments and the centre work shoulder to shoulder,” PM Modi said.

 Apart from federal relations, one of the most important topic of discussion in today’s meeting is internal security. Following the rise of Islamic radicalism, Centre has raised the issue of internal security with the respective states. The menace of left-wing extremism would also be discussed in the meeting.