Centre's attitude towards states 'very worrying': Punjab CM
New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday joined the demonstration by his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan against the Centre with his party chief and Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal here.
Addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar, Mann thanked Vijayan, saying that "he has taken important initiatives to save the Constitution, democracy and federal structure of the country".
He said at present the attitude of the Central government towards states "is very worrying".
"Budget session days are going on, today we would be sitting in our offices making our state budgets, but we have to come to Jantar Mantar for our rights."
Mann said Punjab is an agrarian state, and farmers of the state produce 182 lakh metric tons of rice every year and give it to the country.
"Still, the Central government is withholding Rs 5,500 crore of our Rural Development Fund (RDF). This fund is used to construct and repair the marketing yards and roads leading to them in the rural areas. We had to approach the Supreme Court in this matter."
He said on one hand, the Centre is withholding “our funds and on the other hand, the Governor appointed by the Centre creates problems for us in daily functioning and works of the government".
"Last time he declared the Punjab Assembly session illegal. Then we had to stop the session midway and go to the Supreme Court. There, on the very first date, the court reprimanded him and gave us permission to call the session," he said. In states where the BJP is not even in opposition, BJP governors act as Opposition, he alleged. "He writes a new letter to the government every day. I have never seen that the Governor of any BJP ruled states of Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh meddling in the works of government there or writing letters to any Chief Minister," Mann added.
Kejriwal accused the Central government is using the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as its weapon.