Friday, March 1, 2024

Opposition states, INDIA bloc leaders attend Kerala’s protest against Union government’s unjust policies

The protest gathering organised by the Kerala government against the unjust policies of the BJP-led union government at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on Thursday, garnered participation from representatives of opposition states.

The gathering questioned the attacks on federalism by the BJP government, which denies the funds and resources allocated for states by constitutional mandate.

Other southern states including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have earlier registered their protest against the union government’s discriminatory attitude towards non-BJP state governments.

Meanwhile, the United Democratic Front (UDF), the opposition alliance led by the Congress in Kerala, refused to participate in the protest.

They said that they do not agree with the Left’s narrative of blaming the central government for all the state’s financial troubles.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the protest. Several ministers, MPs and MLAs from the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala attended the gathering.

Apart from LDF members, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, along with senior political leaders such as CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI general secretary D. Raja, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Rajya Sabha member and lawyer Kapil Sibal, MP and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder Thol. Thirumavalavan, Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader Palanivel Thiaga Rajan joined the public meeting.

Notably, members of INDIA bloc parties except the Congress and the Trinamool Congress also participated in the protest.

Tamilnadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, on Tuesday (February 6), wrote to Pinarayi Vijayan extending full support towards the Kerala government’s move against the union government.

“Our voice will not rest until we establish cooperative federalism and retrieve state autonomy,” he said.

 The DMK representatives in the parliament have been raising the issue of the non-allocation of funds to Tamil Nadu in the interim budget, for the last few days both inside and outside Parliament.

On Thursday, they attended Lok Sabha proceedings wearing black robes as a protest against the Union government.

 “We are wearing black robes in protest against Centre not releasing flood relief funds,” DMK member G. Selvam told PTI.

 “Ours is a democratic protest against the undoing of federal structure and the sheer discrimination against the States. Taking into account the interests of our people and our State, we cannot be quiet,” Pinarayi Vijayan said in his inaugural address.

He criticised the BJP government for destroying federalism in the country by carrying out political vendetta against non-BJP-run states.

“Efforts are on by certain sections to depict the genuine demands of States as an issue of north-south divide,” he added.

Delhi Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal said the situation has worsened to a state that state governments have to come to Jantar Mantar to demand their rights.

Besides denying funds, the union government is using Governors and Lieutenant Governors to create obstacles before non-BJP state governments.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also alleged that the BJP government has denied shares of revenues to Punjab, forcing them to approach the Supreme Court.

The Kerala government had also earlier approached the top court in December against limits imposed by the union government, which hinder the fiscal management of states.

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