Akali Dal to meet like-minded parties to bolster federalism
Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday said it has decided to create a joint strategy along with like-minded parties on ways and means to strengthen the federal structure of the country which is being “eroded under the NDA government”.
The parties will hold a conference in New Delhi after January 15 whose main focus will be on erosion of federalism and its impact on farmers as well as financial well being of states.
Disclosing this in a statement here, senior SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said a three-member party committee had been formed by party President Sukhbir Singh Badal to reach out to lik-eminded parties who were perturbed by the rise of a unitary system in the country.
“We have reached out to the Trinamool Congress, the Shiv Sena, the INLD, the DMK and the Samajwadi Party. We are also trying to get in touch with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The purpose is to hold a conference and work jointly for strengthening the federal structure as visualised by our constitution makers.”
Chandumajra said leaders of regional parties had agreed to be part of the meeting which would be addressed by five-time Chief Minister and SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal.
“Earlier the meeting was fixed for January 7 but had to be postponed due to a slight indisposition of Badal.”
The SAD leader said the three agricultural laws, which had even been forced through Parliament, were a direct interference of the Centre in the powers of the states.
He said even though agriculture was a state subject, the Centre went ahead to legislate on this issue. “We are clear that these laws can’t be legislated by Parliament. They also override state laws and market committees and will only help corporate besides weakening the finances of the states.”
Asserting that states should not be put at the mercy of the Centre, Chandumajra said this trend was increasing as was seen earlier in West Bengal where the Governor was interfering in the functioning of an elected government and even in Punjab recently when its Governor summoned senior government officials bypassing the state government.
“The SAD is against this trend and will do its utmost to unite like-minded parties to form a bulwark against the increasing centralization of powers in the hands of the Union government,” he added.