- Amid thick of assembly election, Karnataka BJP minister dubs Modi government ‘dictatorial’
- Remarks provided fresh ammunition to opposition to attack the PM
By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Surprising as it may seem, this cutting remark didn’t come from the opposition leaders but it was none other than a minister in BJP-ruled Karnataka. Amid allegations of ‘interference in State subjects”, Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister JC Madhuswamy said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “authoritarian rule” is the reason behind the rising regionalism in the country. He also said that the Modi government’s ‘dictatorial approach’ has hurt the unity (between states).
The BJP minister’s scathing remarks not only put the ruling BJP in an uncomfortable situation but also substantiated opposition’s allegations.
Speaking at an event on ‘national integration and regional freedom’ in Mysuru on Saturday, the minister even asked Bengaluru South Member of Parliament and party colleague Tejasvi Surya to question certain policy decisions of the union government.
The BJP minister Madhuswamy referred to the example of NEET stating that the students from Karnataka were losing out to those from other states due to the Centre’s policy.
There is widespread discontentment in southern states on the center’s attempt to “encroach” upon subjects in the State and Concurrent Lists of the Constitution. Because of this, they said Karnataka and other states like Tamil Nadu are at a disadvantage.
Giving vent to this anger, minister Madhuswamy said,“You’ve encroached upon the state subject and concurrent list (center-state powers as mentioned in the Constitution). Instead of liberalising as we grow, you are centralising”.
“We should have become liberalised with progression. Instead, it is becoming centralised. The policy of pulling down progressive states to the level of under-developed ones is similar to the policies of Indira Gandhi, which we ourselves criticised then,” the minister said at a seminar on ‘National Integration and Regional Freedom’, hosted by the Akhila Bharatiya Sharana Sahitya Parishad in Mysuru.
He asked Tejasvi Surya, who was present at the event, to raise the issue in Parliament.
The BJP minister’s statement comes at a time when the three southern states Tamilnadu, Kerala and Puducherry as well West Bengal and Assam are in the thick of the assembly election campaign. The opposition parties have quickly picked up his statement to fire salvo at Prime Minister Modi. It may
While DMK MP Kanimozhi tweeted Madhuswamy’s comments, former IAS officer Sasikant Senthil appreciated the minister for speaking his mind and wished others would come forward to talk about it.
The social media users also picked up the statement of the BJP minister to attack the Prime Minister and his government saying the BJP people are also started feeling the pinch of this authoritative rule of Modi.
One Shabbir Ahmed said in his tweet that opposition parties in TamilNadu and Kerala were talking about this for the past 6 years. Now even BJP ruled states have started complaining now.
Opposition parties in #TamilNadu & #Kerala were talking about this for the past 6 years. Now even #BJP ruled states have started are complaining. Karnataka Minister speaks about Centers dictatorial attitude.
Echoing his views Ananth Srinivasan also said any act to encroach upon State rights is a big threat to federal structure and may cause severe damage to the very fabric of this country.
It is picking up. Any act to encroach upon State rights is a big threat to federal structure and may cause severe damage to the very fabric of this country. Authoritarianism will kill the public’s faith on GoI. Time to realise and act on public interest.