New Delhi: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will not attend the fifth governing council meeting of NITI Aayog to be held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here on Saturday. There has been no official reason yet as to why he has decided to skip the meet, however, media reports suggest that he is busy with preparations of the inaugural ceremony of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) project over river Godavari.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the the fifth meeting and heads of Indian states will be present and the first meeting meeting after the NDA came to power for the second term.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also skip the meeting and argued that the government think-tank has "no power to support state plans."

Media reports suggest that KCR wanted to attend the meet but changed the plan later and wished to meet the PM separately to invite him for the inauguration of Kaleshwaram project on June 21.

KCR went to invite his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai on Friday for the inaugural ceremony of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme.

The CM is going to Vijayawada on June 17 to invite newly-elect CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for the inauguration and will also attend a spiritual event organised by Swami Swaroopananda in Vijayawada.

Built on the Godavari river, the KLIS project is expected to change the face of Telangana. The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2016 after Telangana and Maharashtra resolved their dispute over sharing of Godavari waters. The agreement between the two states cleared the decks for the project.

Being built at a cost of about Rs 80,499 crore, the project will divert 180 TMC of water to irrigate 7.38 lakh hectares.

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