THE ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is anti-federal in practice and in theory and ideology, accused Thomas Isaac, finance minister of Kerala and a member of CPI(M) Central Committee. The Modi government has been systematically destroying the federal structure of India, Isaac said. He addressed a seminar at Vijayawada on December 14, on “BJP rule and centre-state relations” in connection with the 104th birth anniversary of Comrade Makineni Basavapunnaiah, one of the founding leaders of CPI(M). P Madhu, managing trustee of MB Vignana Kendram and AP state secretary of CPI(M) chaired the seminar. At the beginning, the gathering paid tributes to the departed leader and the leaders on the dais garlanded a photo of MB. Thomas Isaac briefly explained the situation in Kerala consequent to the Supreme Court judgement on Sabarimala, and gave details about the human wall to be formed on January 1, by women of the state.
Isaac said that Indian constitution itself is quasi-federal and later the consecutive central governments snatched away the limited powers of states gradually. He narrated the chronological developments with regard to the devolution of funds to states from the centre with statistical data. Unlike the other ruling class parties, BJP is quite anti-federal in ideology and theory. He quoted some excerpts from the ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ of Golwalkar, the ideologue of RSS/BJP. The state governments have been squeezed through the FRBM Act by restricting the borrowing limits even in difficult situations. Isaac explained the difficulties that have been faced by the LDF government of Kerala after the flood havoc. The GST regime disempowered the state governments by snatching the rights of the authorities to impose cess or additional tax according to the concrete conditions and even in distress situations, he explained in detail. The Fourteenth Finance Commission’s terms of reference are very much detrimental to the states and the central government is very much averse even to review them, Isaac accused. The Planning Commission was dissolved and thus the planning process is ridiculed by the BJP. The local self governments also were negated by Modi government. Isaac called on the people to rise against the anti- federal, authoritarian BJP government and to fight for the just rights of states.