Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had hit hard at the Central government for its dictatorial approach towards the States in denying powers and finances. In a review meeting with the senior officials and government advisors ahead of preparing vote on account budget, KCR found that the Centre was denying several powers to the States. The devolution of funds from the Centre to the State was also inappropriate and needs to be looked deeper.
KCR’s attack on the Centre was almost close to the similar attack by his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu, indicating that the chief ministers of the two Telugu States are feeling the heat from the Centre, though on different counts. There are other chief ministers, H D Kumaraswamy in Karnataka, Pinarayi Vijayan in Kerala, Navin Patnaik in Odisha, Mamata Benerji in West Bengal, Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi are also feeling the same. They say that the Modi’s dispensation is introducing into the powers of the States against the federal spirit of the nation.
There are several other chief ministers who are feeling suffocation in the Modi’s dispensation. Modi who cried foul at the Centre when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, is now doing what he condemned then. He never wanted the Centre to encroach upon the State’s issues during his stint at Gujarat. But, now sitting in Delhi, he wants to have control over the States and make Centre strong. He wants the States to depend on the Centre and remain weak partners in the federal system, which is not good.
KCR’s anger against the Centre might have different reason. So is the case with Chandrababu Naidu’s anger. They might have the political agenda behind their anger against the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But, there is general reason – in terms of powers and funds shared with the States. Modi is working like late Indira Gandhi who wanted Centre to be strong and States weak. She always had her say and command over the States. The chief ministers in the States were at her mercy.
Decades later, Modi too wants the same to be repeated. Perhaps it is the thumping majority that he had received in the last elections. This attitude worked for Indira, but it was in 1970s and 1980s. This is 2k and no dictator can survive for long.