In a sharp attack on the Central government, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday, 17 September, said cooperative federalism and competitive federalism did not exist, and that federalism was only federalism.
The four-time Member of Parliament from Hyderabad was speaking at the first edition of the Dakshin Dialogues at ITC Kakatiya in Hyderabad.
“I don’t know what our prime minister means when he says those terms,” said Owaisi, adding that the southern states must build a political consensus on federalism while opposing the Centre’s definition of it.
Taking a swipe at the BJP, he said that federalism would be harmed if the BJP came to power in more states.
‘Supreme leaders do not believe in diversity’
Owaisi added that in the 21st century, the Union government should allow the decentralisation of power.
“We are not living in the 1950s, when the Central government would have all the power. All the states must assert their demands to the Union government,” he said.
Owaisi also attacked the BJP-led Union government’s strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If a bureaucrat sitting in Delhi wants to impose a lockdown in a State he or she has never visited, that is not the way. What do people living in Delhi know about here? Our supreme leader does not believe in diversity,” said Owaisi, in a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
About the Union government’s discrimination with states, he said, “The Central government gives no share in cess to the states. ₹50,000 crore have been denied to them.”
Link to the livestream of the inaugural Dakshin Dialogues event held by South First: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-AEKnYA704
Link to all the videos from the event: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbZMvW807JWuNBOcYK5c91w/videos
Link to the news reports from the event: https://www.thesouthfirst.com/category/dakshin-dialogues/