Kerala invites Tamil Nadu CM Stalin to join LDF protest in Delhi against BJP-ruled Union govt

The invitation to Tamil Nadu CM Stalin to join the protest was handed over in Chennai by Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 23, 2024 | 8:26 AMUpdatedJan 23, 2024 | 8:26 AM

MK Stalin and Pinarayi Vijayan

Having failed to win the support of the Opposition Congress in Kerala, the LDF government is looking outside the state to add heft to the protest called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Cabinet colleagues in New Delhi next month against the alleged negligence towards the southern state by the BJP-led Union government.

On Monday, 22 January, the LDF government invited Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to join a protest that is scheduled at Jantar Mantar in Delhi at 11 am on 8 February.

The invitation letter from the Kerala chief minister to Stalin was handed over by state Industries Minister P Rajeev in Chennai, according to an official release in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Related: Kerala Opposition rejects CM’s call for united protest against Union govt over discrimination

Meeting with Stalin

At the meeting, Stalin noted that the Union government’s policy of financially squeezing the states should be collectively opposed, the release said.

Rajeev, in his part, presented details of the petition filed by Kerala in the Supreme Court in this matter.

The Kerala minister alleged that the Union government was withholding the state’s due share. He said the Modi government was taking a negative approach on various issues, including project allocation, tax allocation, assistance to reduce revenue deficit, and GST compensation.

He also accused the BJP-ruled Union government of denying the state the right to borrow funds.

Rajeev alleged that, besides Kerala, the Union government was adopting a policy of discrimination against all states governed by non-BJP parties.

He said that, at this stage, the presence of Stalin, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was expected at Kerala’s protest.

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu and Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Sivadas Meena also attended the meeting, the release said.

Also Read: Line separating religion, state becoming thinner: Kerala CM on Ram temple ceremony

The LDF protest

The LDF government has planned various programmes to spread the message of the protest among the people, including house visits across Kerala on a booth basis from 4 pm to 6 pm on the day of the protest.

Efforts by Pinarayi Vijayan to create a façade of unity across the political divide by involving the Congress-led Opposition UDF in the ruling front’s agitation against the BJP-led Union government came to nought on 19 January when it firmly rejected the proposal.

The idea of the ruling LDF and the Opposition UDF joining forces in a protest in Delhi against the Union government’s apathy towards the state failed to gain the support of the Congress and its allies in Kerala.

They disagreed with Vijayan’s narrative that attributes the state’s financial challenges solely to neglect by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Interacting with the media in Thiruvananthapuram, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, VD Satheesan, said that he had already conveyed to Vijayan directly that the wrong policies and extravagance on the part of the state government had contributed to Kerala’s financial woes.