The ruling Left front in Kerala, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, will hold a protest in the national capital on Thursday against the Centre’s alleged neglect towards the southern state in financial matters.
While the LDF’s invitation to the Congress-led UDF to join the protest was rejected by the opposition, it has received the backing of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin.
Left front ministers, legislators, and parliamentarians from Kerala will actively partake in the protest which will be held at 11 am on Thursday.
Vijayan on Wednesday said that the LDF had to resort to such an unprecedented struggle as it was essential for Kerala’s survival and advancement.
“This agitation is intended to safeguard the constitutional rights of all states, not merely Kerala’s. The aim of this struggle is not to triumph over anyone, but to secure what we rightfully deserve instead of surrendering,” the Kerala CM said in Delhi according to a statement issued by his office.
Stalin, on February 6, had extended full support to Vijayan on the issue of preserving fiscal federalism and accused the Centre of restricting the states’ borrowing space by misusing its powers under article 293 of the Constitution.
Buoyed by the gesture, Vijayan had said it was a boost to the Left front’s efforts to “stand up and resist the vicious efforts to undermine the federal principles enshrined in our Constitution”.
The Left government in Kerala, which has been blaming the Centre for the state’s financial woes, had in its budget attacked the union government by saying that it was pushing the southern state towards the worst financial crisis in its history.
The UDF had declined to take part in the protest by saying it does not agree with the Left narrative blaming the Centre for all of the state’s financial problems.
It had cited other reasons, including the state government’s alleged mismanagement in tax collection, gold sales, and issues related to receiving its share of the IGST, for Kerala’s financial distress.
Meanwhile, Congress legislators and MPs from Karnataka, including Ministers from Siddaramaiah-led government, today, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, demanding that the union government set right the losses allegedly incurred by the State to the tune of Rs 1,87,000 crore, during five years under the 15th finance commission.