Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Wednesday made it clear that the DMK government would continue to use the term “Union government” to refer to the Centre, recalling that the DMK, in its election manifesto in 1957 itself, had used the term “Indian Union”. The Constitution, too, described India as a “union of States”, he said.
“We have used it and will continue to use it,” he said in the Assembly, responding to BJP floor leader Nainar Nagendran, who wondered whether there was any motive behind using the word “union”.
Mr. Stalin and the DMK had started using the term “Union government” instead of “Central government” since it took over the reins of the new government.
When Mr. Nagendran wanted a response from the Chief Minister, Mr. Stalin said there was no need to fear the word, since Rajaji [C. Rajagopalachari] himself had spoken against the excessive concentration of power at the Centre, and in favour of true federalism. “Late Ma.Po.Si. [Sivagnanam] used the word samasti ,” he said.
Mr. Stalin said there was no need to treat the usage of the word “union” as a “social crime” because some people were taking it in that sense. “We are using only what is in the Constitution,” he said, recalling the phrase, “India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of States.”
He said India was constituted by its States. “Some accuse us of using a word not used by our leaders Anna (C.N. Annadurai) and Kalaignar (M. Karunanidhi). But the DMK used the term Indian Union in its election manifesto in 1957,” he said.
He also recalled Anna ’s speech in the Rajya Sabha on January 25, 1963, in which he said: “As per the preface to the Constitution, the sovereignty resides in the people, and legal sovereignty is divided between a federal union and its constituents, that is the States.”