KTR Slams Centre for Undermining Federal Values

 - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad: Right after the independence, the then Union Home Minister flew down to Hyderabad to unite and integrate Hyderabad into the Indian Union. Today, after 74 years, we have a Union Home Minister who flew down to Hyderabad to divide us, bully us into submission, trying to force us to adhere to what they say. This is not acceptable, asserted Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao. 

Referring to the Central Government's decision of conducting programmes commemorating the occasion of Hyderabad State’s annexation into Indian Union on September 17, 1948, KTR said that the Union government should have consulted the State Government, sought its opinion. However, the Centre took a unilateral decision and went on holding programmes parallely . 

KTR said that the conflicting messages given out by the way of competing claims on the same occasion is what is wrong with the federal structure today. 

The TRS working president was speaking at a panel discussion on the topic 'Has India lost its spirit of Federalism', as part of ‘Dakshin Dialogues’ held by South First, a South focused news portal, in Hyderabad today. The other panellists, who participated in the discussion, were Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Buganna Rajendranath Reddy, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. 

During the discussion, KTR spoke about various issues such as the Central Government's attempts to turn the Union of States into a Unitary State, the unhealthy practice of cult worship, the high handed attitude of people who rule from Delhi, the lack of support from the Central government to States, and other topics. 

KTR said that the population of the Southern States is 19% of the country, and their contribution to GDP is 35%. Of every rupee Telangana contributes to the Central exchequer, the State gets back only 46 paisa. Stressing that he is aware of the responsibilities that the Government of India has to fulfill such as defense, railways, KTR said “As an Indian Citizen, we are happy to be part of nation building. But the problem is the attitude of those who run Delhi. They say ‘we are the givers, you are the takers’, ‘you have to do whatever we say’,”

Stating that priorities of each State vary, he asked why the States should not get to decide what should be done with the devolution of management of funds. 

He wondered why a system had not been thought of where States' share of Income tax, Corporate Tax is collected and deducted at source. 

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