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Center vs South: Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM join Kerala govt’s ‘fight to protect federalism’ at Jantar Mantar – News18


Amid rising tensions in the battle between the Central and Southern states, leaders of the three states (Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) are in the national capital to protest against the alleged injustice in the allocation of funds.

After the Siddaramaiah-led Karnataka government’s ‘Chalo Delhi’ protest in Delhi on Wednesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also staged a protest in Delhi on Thursday against the Centre’s alleged negligence towards the southern state on issues financial.

Sources said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann were also likely to join the Kerala government’s protest.

LATEST UPDATES

  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MPs also staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue on the Parliament premises over the Centre’s financial negligence against Tamil Nadu.
  • “The present Kerala government has been in power for the last eight years. “They had made big promises when they fought the 2016-2021 elections, but now they have realized that they have nothing to say about their achievements…” he said. Therefore, “they have found a convenient way to shift the blame to the Government of India…”
  • Meanwhile, MoS MEA V Muraleedharan criticized the Kerala government for its protests and said they had found a “convenient way” to blame the Centre.
  • Kejriwal said the Kerala CM has not come to Delhi for himself but to “get what is the right of the people of Kerala”.
  • Speaking at the protest meeting, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal took a dig at the Center and said it has reached a point where the CM of a state “had to put aside all his work” to come to Delhi. to protest.
  • “The revenue neutral rate that was predicted when the GST was implemented is yet to be achieved. However, the GST compensation has been removed,” Vijayan added.
  • Pinarayi Vijayan, in her speech, also mentioned the GST compensation and said that “we all know what has happened” with it. “It was regularly delayed and that is when many of us, the state governments, decided to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court together that the Union Government has disbursed the arrears,” the Kerala CM said.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann reached Jantar Mantar and joined the protest against the Centre’s financial “negligence”.
  • Revenue sharing is the other way around at the moment, said Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, citing that states have to bear “the tax burden of 65 per cent of the expenditure”, while the “Union contributes only 35 per cent.” percent”.
  • Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said, “We are here to register our protest against the central government over tax refund.” While he thanked all opposition party leaders for their “support”, Vijayan said the Center has been “taking decisions” without “seeking the opinion of the states”.
  • Jammu and Kashmir National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah also joined the Kerala government’s protest at Jantar Mantar.
  • Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan along with his party leaders and other legislators supporting him begin their protest at Jantar Mantar against the central government’s alleged “negligence” towards the southern state in financial matters.
  • Tamil Nadu’s ruling party DMK also participated in the protest. IT Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan is representing DMK at the protest.
  • The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has also joined the LDF in the protest against the Centre. IUML representative leader Abdul Wahab is present in the national capital for the agitation.
  • LDF convenor EP Jayarajan said: “We are raising the demands of the people… Yesterday it was Karnataka, today it is Kerala, tomorrow other states will also come…”
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann could join Kerala’s ruling Left Front in its protest in the national capital.
  • Although the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) invitation to the Congress-led UDF to join the protest was rejected, it received support from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.
  • Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar at 11 am on Thursday. Vijayan, along with Left Front ministers and legislators, will actively participate in the protest against the Centre’s alleged “negligence” towards the southern state.

WHAT DOES THE KERALA GOVERNMENT SAY?

Kerala’s ruling Left Front has said its protest is against the Centre’s alleged negligence towards the southern state in financial matters.

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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said the Left Democratic Front had to resort to unprecedented struggle because it was essential for the survival and advancement of their state.

“This agitation is aimed at safeguarding the constitutional rights of all states, not just those of Kerala. The objective of this fight is not to triumph over anyone, but to secure what we rightfully deserve instead of surrendering,” the Kerala CM said in Delhi, according to a statement issued by his office.

State Finance Minister KN Balagopal said Kerala’s borrowing has also been cut. He said all the “money they deserve will go to the NDA states”.

“Yesterday the BJP leaders said we cannot run the government. I want to ask you how are we going to get 24 NITI Aayog awards then?” Balagopal said. The Finance Minister also criticized the “immature” Congress for not supporting the protest.

In its budget, the Kerala government attacked the central government saying it was pushing the southern state towards the worst financial crisis in its history.

ALLEGATIONS OF THE KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT

The Karanataka chief minister said this was “not a political protest”. “This is a protest against maternal treatment by the Centre, even when Karnataka was badly hit by drought.”

Accusing the Center of injustice towards Karnataka in tax refund, state deputy CM DK Shivakumar said the protest is not against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and all MLAs should forget party lines and participate.

The protesters are also demanding that the Center rectify the losses allegedly suffered by its state government to the tune of Rs 1.87 lakh crore, over five years under the 15th finance commission.

‘SEPARATIST MENTALITY’, ‘FALSE NARRATIVE’ ON FUND ALLOCATION, SAYS NIRMALA SITHARAMAN

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanan lashed out at the Congress government in Karnataka and accused it of harboring a “separatist mindset” and spreading a “false narrative” on the issue of allocation of funds.

Refuting the state government’s allegations point by point, the Finance Minister, along with Karnataka MP and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, accused CM Siddaramaiah and his colleagues of making “shockingly false” allegations and said no no GST compensation amount is included. due to the state.

“These claims come from a separatist mindset… Congress stands with those who want to ‘tukde tukde‘(pause) of the country,” he said, stating that the ad promotes that language.

He further criticized the opposition party and quoted Karnataka MP DK Suresh who had said that if the Centre’s alleged discrimination continues, then “South India may seek a separate country”.

He also rejected the Karnataka government’s claim that the Center did not provide the special grant of Rs 5,495 crore as per the recommendation of the 15th Finance Commission.

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  • “I want to make it clear that the recommendation was not part of the final report of the 15th Finance Commission. The question of not accepting does not arise at all,” he stated.

    (With PTI inputs)

    Asmita Ravi ShankarAsmita Ravi Shankar is a News Trainee at News18.com covering crime, general affairs and…Read more

    first published: February 8, 2024, 09:09 IST

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