Cong, BJP centralised powers, accuses CPI(M)

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Coimbatore, Apr 2 (UNI) The 19th Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) today charged the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with always trying to centralise powers by grabbing them from States and called for decentralisation of powers to the grassroots level.

Briefing newspersons on the deliberations about centre -state relations at the ongoing party congress here, West Bengal Chief Minister and Politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said the Congress, which had ruled the country for about five decades, and the BJP, which was at the helm of affairs for over five years, always had the tendency to concentrate power at the hands of the Centre.

He said India being a multi-lingual and multi-religious country, decentralisation of power was necessary so that the hands of the State Government could be strengthened, which would inturn make India more stronger. The Left parties strongly believe that the powers should be decentralised till the grassroots level through the Panchayats and Municipality.

The Sarkaria Commission, constituted to study centre - state relations, had came out with some concrete recommendations and unfortunately, they were not accepted and were still pending. The problem of centre-state relations arose on financial and political basis, Mr Bhattacharya said and wanted the Centre to share atleast 50 per cent of the tax revenue with States and scrap Articles 355 and 356 to improve the relations.

He said presently the Centre was sharing only 30.5 per cent of its tax revenue, which would be extremely difficult for the State Governments to implement most of the welfare projects. It was unfortunate that the State Governments do not have representatives in the Planning Commission, Finance Commission and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Board.

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