Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday launched a broadside against the NDA government at the Centre, alleging that it is hurting federal values, weakening the states financially and also centralising powers.
In his Independence Day address after hoisting the national flag at the historic Golconda Fort here, he said the makers of the nation’s Constitution put in place a federal structure as they wanted the Centre and states together to lead the march of progress.
“The present Central government in Delhi is hurting federal values. The Centre is indulging in conspiracies that weaken the states financially, as if cutting the branch on which one is seated,” he said.
Rao, also known as KCR, alleged that the states are supposed to get 41 per cent share in revenue accruing through taxes collected by the Centre, but the Central government is acquiring income indirectly by imposing cess instead of taxes to reduce the states’ share.
Through this, the Centre is reducing the states’ share of income by 11.4 per cent in 2022-23, he said.
The Centre is causing injustice to the states by providing only 29.6 per cent share where 41 per cent should have been provided, he said.
As if that is not enough, the Centre is also imposing various restrictions hurting the freedom of the states in the economy, he charged.
The Central government which talks about the ideals of cooperative federalism is, in reality, indulging in centralisation of powers, he claimed.
The Centre is thrusting upon states decisions taken on issues in the concurrent list without consultation, he alleged citing the examples of farm laws which have now been withdrawn.
Rao hit out at the present NDA regime for allegedly trying to portray farmers protesting in Delhi against farm laws as betrayers of the nation. The Prime Minister had to finally apologise to farmers, he claimed.
The Centre is imposing enormous burden on poor and middle classes by imposing taxes on various products, including milk and construction of graveyards, he charged.
Wading into the row over freebies, the Chief Minister said, “People’s welfare is the primary responsibility of the governments. It is blame-worthy that the Centre, without properly fulfilling that responsibility, is insulting by calling welfare schemes as freebies,” Rao said.
He alleged that, due to the shortcomings in the Centre’s management, the country’s economic growth slowed down, inflation is rising, value of rupee is declining and unemployment growing in the country.
Those in power at the Centre, to hide their failures, are indulging in tactics of dividing people with hate politics, he further alleged.
Highlighting the nation’s unity in diversity, he claimed that “those in constitutional posts are indulging in fascist attacks” to hurt India’s peaceful coexistence.
Rao further claimed that destructive forces are trying to foment communal trouble in Telangana and to hurt peace and development.
He said it is the responsibility of every Telangana citizen to safeguard the ‘Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb’ (fusion of Hindu-Muslim cultures) in the state.
Referring to criticism of his government taking heavy debt, he said the state’s debt was over Rs 2.25 lakh crore in 2019-20. Telangana inherited a debt of Rs 75,577 crore in 2014 when the state was formed. The debt taken by the state government was thus Rs 1.49 lakh crore which was used to build projects and provision of infrastructure, he said.
Rao, who highlighted numerous welfare schemes and progress achieved in Telangana during the last eight years of his rule, said the state’s revenue was Rs 62,000 crore in 2014-15 which rose to Rs 1.84 lakh crore by 2021.
Telangana emerged as a mighty economic powerhouse in a short period of eight years, he said.