TMC Demands Centre-State Relations Be Discussed At Parl Committee

The prickly relationship between the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government and the central government took a new turn as the TMC alleged that the central government is not willing to include the important issue of centre-state relations.

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By: Joymala Bagchi | NEW DELHI
Updated: 03 November, 2022 11:43 pm IST
TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

The prickly relationship between the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government and the central government took a new turn as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) alleged that the central government is not willing to include the important issue of centre-state relations.

TMC also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government has excluded the topic from discussion at the parliamentary committee.

TMC raised the matter at the meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said, “One day at a time, the BJP is destroying the federal structure of the nation.”

“They have no respect for the states when it comes to the relationship with the union. That’s why they are afraid of discussing this subject at the parliamentary committee,” O’Brien said.

Earlier on August 1, the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Home Ministry, headed by Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi, held a meeting. In that meeting, all MPs agreed that centre-state relations were an important issue.

The MPs in the committee also unanimously decided that the pending issues would be discussed first and that the issue of centre-state relations would be discussed in the next meeting.

Following that, new parliamentary committees were created and Abhishek Manu Singhvi dropped out of the new committee. The committee is now chaired by BJP MP Brijlal.

On October 18, the first meeting of the new Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs was held. In that meeting, the subject of discussion in the committee was decided.

“A few days before the first meeting of the new committee, TMC had written a letter saying that the outstanding issues should be discussed on a priority basis. And once they are settled, then centre-state relations and the federal structure must be discussed,” a TMC source told The New Indian.

“Incidentally, several opposition parties, including Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United and Congress, supported TMC’s stand,” the source said.

However, bulletins were issued after the first meeting, where centre-state relations were dropped from the list of topics discussed in the committee.

Six issues, including the North Eastern States, internal security, border issues, and correctional reform, have been put under discussion.

According to the sources at Thursday’s meeting, TMC asked the chairman to list the centre-state relationship as a topic along with the rest of the issues. However, the demand from TMC was rejected by the chairman.

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