Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: “Concentration of authority and power only in the hands of the federal unit will be anathema to the whole system,” Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said here on Monday.

Emphasising on the need for decentralisation, he highlighted the fact that the Constitution provided for sharing of power between the Union and the States and also within the States through district and other local bodies.

Delivering the presidential address at a discussion session at the 4th International Conference on Federalism, Mr. Chatterjee said Parliament provides for grassroots institutions of governance.

He said that in the grand scheme of India’s federal polity, Parliament, as the supreme representative institution of the people, remained the fulcrum and the pivot.

Mr. Chatterjee observed that the States or the federating units could not be treated as a mere agents or vassals of the Centre.

“In my view, a federal structure can successfully function under a constitution in which democracy and federalism are two of the basic features.”