Chandigarh, July 30: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today expressed helplessness as a chief minister saying he felt so because the UPA at the Centre was “surpassing” its Constitutional limits each passing day and “usurping” state subjects.
“Agriculture is a state subject and Punjab's major occupation is agriculture, with the state contributing 60 per cent foodgrains to the Central pool, but when it comes to deciding MSP of crops, we are not consulted by the Centre,” he said, adding “when we talk about the food security, the Centre has not talked to any farmer or their union or the state governments”.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the Cell's national in-charge Satya Pal Jain, BJP General Secretary, J P Nadda were among others present at the ‘Regional Conference on Policies of UPA-A Threat to Indian Federalism', organised by BJP's Legal and Legislative Cell, here this afternoon.
He said the diesel, fertiliser prices were decided by the Centre. “Income Tax, Corporate Tax and Excise Taxes, the Centre has kept the cream with them, what are we left with...,” Badal asked.
He also said, “..we just have the power to transfer a district agriculture officer from Jalandhar to Ludhiana”.
He called for the setting up of a genuinely federal structure in the country “to make India the most advanced and powerful country in the world.”
“They have reduced the states to the plight of beggars at their doors, and the price for this arrogant political attitude has to be paid by the country, especially the common man,” he said.
The Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch further said that the process of usurping the rights of the states was still on, with subjects from State List being shifted to the Concurrent List, rendering states completely powerless.
Badal mentioned that over a period of time, subjects like Education, Family Welfare and Forests which were in the State list have been included in the concurrent list.
Meanwhile speaking on the occasion, Dhumal said the recommendations of the Union Government appointed Sarkaria Commission, which deliberated at length on aspects of legislative, administrative and financial relations between Centre and the states have only been partially implemented.
“The Commission's recommendation to set up a permanent Inter-State Council, though implemented, has not yielded any results as the Centre has failed to ensure that the Council meets regularly and further that its recommendations are taken seriously for consequent action,” he said.
Dhumal launched a scathing attack on the Centre, claiming that during the present UPA government the situation has come to a point where “existence of our federal structure seems to be coming under serious threat”.
Dhumal said that a large number of Bills/Acts, one even even dating back to 1995, passed by the state within their exclusive legislative domain are awaiting the assent of the Governors for long without any explanation. PTI