Maintain federalism, Opposition tells govt

Maintain federalism, Opposition tells govt

Though voice of national unity remained the predominant theme of the special session on the eve of 60th anniversary of the first sitting of Indian Parliament, Opposition members did not forget to remind the government on federalism.

The spirit of federalism is an integral part of the Constitution and must be maintained, they pointed out this prominently in Rajya Sabha .  

Trinmool Congress leader  Sukhnendu Shekhar Roy called for a pledge in this regard: “On this solemn occasion, let us take the pledge to work together against the concentration of power, be it social, political or economic, and redeem all our resources for the cause of the people living even in remotest corners of India.” 

 AIDMK member Maitreyan quoted Dr Ambedkar to say that our constitution guarantees federalism. However, he alleged that over the years federalism has been undermined.

“Of late, there has been a tendency and systematic effort to undermine the concept of federalism,” he said.  “It is high time that as we complete 60 years of Parliamentary democracy, Rajya Sabha, being the Council of States, should undertake a serious re-look on Centre-state relationship and cooperative federalism,” added the AIDMK leader. In similar vain, TDP leader Devender Gaud complained of “states not being given free hand”.

“Our Constitutional-makers had clearly demarcated powers and responsibilities in the form of federal structure. But, in spite of this, there is concentration of power at the Centre. Everybody is looking towards Delhi for each and everything. States are not given a free hand and their hands are tied up in one way or the other.  A country of this magnitude cannot run effectively if powers are concentrated at the Union level”, said the TDP leader.

Taking note of the emergence of coalition politics, BJP leader and former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha Najma Heptulla did not miss to caution the Upper House, “ Every deliberation and contribution on the legislation reflects our concern for the state we represent.  ..There is a coalition culture and states are governed by different regional parties. In such a situation, the role of Rajya Sabha becomes more important in articulating issues pertaining to states.”

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