PM thinks states are municipalities, forcing CMs to protest, says TN CM

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Chennai, Feb 8 (PTI) Deploring the plight of Chief Ministers, who are forced to protest against the Centre for their due rights, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not giving the rights due for States and that he appeared to regard States as municipalities.

There was a time when former Prime Minister V P Singh, did not create a situation for Chief Ministers to visit the national capital, as he respected state rights. "But Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regarding states as municipalities. He doesn't seem to like States or Chief Ministers, though he had been Chief Minister of Gujarat before becoming Prime Minister," Stalin said in his video address to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan, who led a protest in New Delhi today "to protect federalism." Chief Ministers protesting in Delhi for their rights was the worst political situation in the country, he said and recalled that on Wednesday Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah staged a protest in Jantar Mantar accusing the central government of indulging in economic oppression.

The DMK MPs too have protested against the 'discriminatory approach' of the BJP government at the Centre in allocating funds to States, he said and added that days are not far off for the BJP government to answer.

The CM claimed that the first thing Modi did after becoming Prime Minister was to deprive the states of their rights - fiscal, lingual, education, and judicial. "Depriving the states of their financial rights amounts to cutting off oxygen supply. This is what the BJP government is doing. The Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states should not think that this is something peculiar to the opposition party-ruled States. You will suffer the same fate tomorrow," Stalin said in his speech.

The Kerala Chief Minister and the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic government were on the same page with the Tamil Nadu government which is firm in opposing the "authoritarian rule" of the Centre, he said.

Public debt to finance public expenditure of States was the exclusive purview of the state legislature as per the Constitution, he said. However, the present dispensation at the Centre was restricting the borrowing limit of States for developmental initiatives, he added. PTI JSP ROH

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