New Delhi, Oct 22: In a sharp attack of the UPA government, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today said it was not treating states as partners but has reduced them to “glorified municipal corporations” through attempts to weaken them.
In her address to the National Development Council, Jayalalithaa alleged that the Central government “seems to have lost direction” and has left the state governments to face the public ire over issues like price rise.
The Chief Minister, who did not attend the meeting, was dismissive in her speech about meetings like the NDC, saying these were “more of a ritualistic exercise rather than to achieve any tangible outcome” and “exercises in futility”. Meetings like these only cause frustration to states and people when the Centre turns a deaf ear even to reasonable requests like restoration of kerosene quota to mitigate the sufferings of the poor, or additional power to tide over a crisis situation, Jayalalithaa said.
“I am not sure that the Government of India recognises the States as partners, leave alone equal partners, and respects their viewpoints. There are attempts by the Centre to weaken the states with too much interference thereby reducing them to the status of glorified municipal corporations. “It is continuously proving that it is completely out of sync with ground realities and far removed from the man on the street,” she said in the speech which was placed before the meeting.
The Chief Minister, who rode to power ousting DMK in the Assembly elections in May this year, said the government has “miserably failed” to arrest price rise and its policies and actions to tackle it were counter productive.
Referring to the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, GST Bill, Common Entrance Test for professional courses, Jayalalithaa said, “Several measures proposed by the Central Government in recent months are all fascist and anti-democratic in nature.”
“In the final arithmetic, the Government of India seems to have lost direction and it is left to the State Governments to face public ire. I sincerely hope that this hopeless situation will change for the better in times to come and we should be able to discharge our duties and responsibilities towards the poor and the people at large,” she said.
“The Central government seems to be hell-bent on penalising non-Congress governments. This government at the Centre does not seem to understand that the people living in the States under Non-Congress governments are as much citizens of India as those in the states where the Congress is in power,” she said.
Despite repeated requests for special assistance, she said funds are not provided to Tamil Nadu while a special package has been given to West Bengal for the only reason that the present ruling party in West Bengal is an ally of the ruling party at the Centre. “This only indicates that step motherly treatment is given to non-Congress governments.”
On the Communal Violence Bill, she said it was only a “blatant attempt to totally bypass” the state governments and concentrate all powers in the Centre, thereby rendering the states absolutely powerless and totally at the mercy of the Centre.