New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) Leaders and lawmakers from the Left Democratic Front of Kerala, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, staged at protest against the Union government at Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Thursday.
The Kerala chief minister accused the central government of not giving states their due share of taxes, and using governors in opposition-ruled states to disrupt the functioning of the governments.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief minister Bhagwat Mann, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, DMK leaders Tiruchi Siva and Palanivel Thiagarajan also took part in the protest, along with Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja.
Speaking at the protest, Vijayan also dismissed the suggestion that protests will promote a north-south divide, and said they are here to ensure that the interest of people of the state are seen to.
"We have all come together to register our strong protest against this and to preserve the federal structure of India. Today we are marking the beginning of a renewed fight that would herald a dawn of ensuring equitable treatment of the States," he said.
"Over the years, the Union has been making laws that encroach upon the states' powers and duties in several sectors, even on law and order," he said.
Vijayan said that in opposition-ruled states, governors are acting at the "behest" of the Union government and disrupting the state government's work.
"The 'Union over States' mentality is being reflected in how the Governors across opposition ruled states are functioning. Constitutionally, Governors are to exercise their duties on the advice of the State Cabinets. However, we are seeing this phenomenon of Governors in opposition ruled states acting at the behest of the powers that appointed them, ie, the Union Government," he said.
"We have seen gubernatorial excesses in Punjab, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and so on. In many States, including Kerala, we have seen Governors trying to over reach their Constitutional mandate by meddling with the autonomy of the Legislature," he said.
Vijayan also said their protest was to save federalism in the country.
"This is a democratic protest against discrimination against states. Taking in account interest of our people we can't be quiet. All these issues need to be addressed in such a way that India flourishes in a union of state, not union over states," he said. PTI AO VN VN