Modi government bulldozing federal structure, running Presidential form of government: Mamata Banerjee

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday tore into Narendra Modi, Modi government bulldozing federal structure and running a Presidential form of government, drawing sharp reaction from BJP.

“Has Presidential form of government started in India? This is a very sensitive and important question. It happens in Russia, China, America. If they (BJP) want to do that then change the Constitution. Ours is a federal structure,” Banerjee told reporters here.

The state government, she said, had received a letter from the Centre during the day, saying the Centre -sponsored schemes are being rationalised with effect from the current financial year.

“This is being done by force without taking the states into confidence. Only BJP-ruled states and some other smaller states have agreed to the recommendations of the sub-group of chief ministers in this regard,” Banerjee said.

She pointed out that state subjects like law and order, fisheries, agriculture, public health, sanitation, irrigation have been brought under the ambit of national development agenda as per a circular of Niti Aayog.

“Modi government is bulldozing the federal structure and violating Constitution. It is interfering in the functioning of the state governments. They talk about cooperative federalism. They don’t know what is cooperative federalism,” she said.

The chief minister said the Centre is trying to monitor expenses of the state treasury, giving direct orders to district magistrates and leaving no space for state schemes.

“I will protest before the President. We will seek his opinion if this is constitutionally valid. We will speak with him and write a letter. Other states must also protest,” she said.

Sharply reacting to her remarks, BJP accused Banerjee of presiding over an anarchist state government for the last five years.

“Mamata Banerjee has presided over five years of an anarchist government in the state. She has not spared even a farmer, student and cartoonist for criticising for questioning her. Therefore, to call Modi government dictator is far from truth,” BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh told PTI.

“Banerjee should be grateful that it is Modiji’s believe in federal structure that state of Bengal will get under 14th Finance commission Rs 3,59,406 crores which is more by Rs 2,52,206 crore than that given by the 13th Finance Commission,” he said. .

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