Ahead of the fifth governing council meeting of the Niti Aayog, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday met with the chief ministers of Congress-ruled states at the Congress headquarters in Delhi.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Puducherry’s V Narayansamy and Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel attended the meeting.

Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy also joined the meeting.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh could not attend as he is learnt to be unwell.

The chief ministers discussed issues of their respective states, especially those related to farmers and tribals which will be taken up at the Niti Aayog meeting chaired by PM Modi.

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.

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

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.

Structural reforms in agriculture, drought situation and relief measures, challenges in transforming aspirational districts and security-related issues will be high on the agenda of the Niti Aayog meeting.

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

Chief Ministers of all the states and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Nitin Gadkari, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Piyush Goyal will attend the meet.

This will be the first governing council meeting under the new Modi government.

The Niti Aayog has been mandated with fostering cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the states on a continuous basis, recognising that strong states make a strong nation on the principles of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwaas”.