Chief ministers of 10 states from the Opposition parties on Saturday skipped the eighth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reported The Indian Express.

The chief ministers who skipped the meeting are Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab’s Bhagwant Mann, Nitish Kumar from Bihar, Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal, Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot, Telangana’s K Chandrasekhar Rao, Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik, Tamil Nadu’s MK Stalin, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan and Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah.

On Friday, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Modi saying that there was no reason for him to attend the meeting at a time when Centre is openly making fun of cooperative federalism.

“NITI Aayog’s objective is to prepare a vision for India and promote cooperative federalism,” Kejriwal said. “But in the past few years, the way democracy has been attacked and the way the non-BJP governments are being toppled is neither our country’s vision nor cooperative federalism.”

Kejriwal’s decision comes at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government are in tussle over control of bureaucrats in the national capital.

On May 19, the Centre had introduced an ordinance to create the National Capital Civil Service Authority to administer the transfer and posting of bureaucrats serving the Delhi government.

The ordinance had negated the May 11 Supreme Court verdict stating that the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital has legislative power over bureaucrats excluding the departments of public order, police and land.

Since ordinances cease to exist if they are not approved by Parliament within six weeks of reassembly, the Centre will need to introduce a bill regarding the subject in the upcoming Monsoon Session. The Aam Aadmi Party has urged the Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP only has 93 seats out of the 238 elected representatives seats, to vote against the bill when it gets introduced.

On Saturday Kejriwal and Mann went to Hyderabad to seek support from the Bharat Rashtriya Samithi to oppose the Centre’s ordinance.

The chief ministers of Odisha and Kerala are not attending the meeting citing prior programmes in their states. Banerjee had announced that she would not attend the meeting.

Gehlot’s office said the chief minister’s visit was cancelled due to his bad health. Siddaramaiah did not attend the meeting as he was busy with the swearing-in ceremony to expand his Cabinet. Stalin is abroad.