Rajya Sabha members seek greater autonomy for States



Vaiko moves resolution to do away with post of Governor

Pushing for greater autonomy for States and protecting federalism, several Rajya Sabha members on Friday hit out at the Centre for what they termed encroachment on the rights of States. Some of them demanded that the post of Governor be abolished.

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Vaiko moved a resolution in the House seeking the return of subjects shifted to the Concurrent List from the State list, including education, and doing away with the post of Governor. He said the residuary powers should be vested with the States, which should be empowered financially and given a corpus to “mitigate the sufferings of the people”.

“India being a multi-region and multilinguistic nation with people of different hues and colours, decentralisation is the need of the hour,” he said.

During the discussion on Mr. Vaiko’s resolution, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said though he had sympathy with the spirit of the resolution, some aspects of it would be “detrimental to the national interest”.

He said the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, which was passed during the Emergency, had moved population control, forests, education and administration of justice to the Concurrent List from the State list. These items, he said, should remain in the Concurrent List, while he agreed with the demand for greater administrative powers and funds for States to deal with natural disasters.

Speaking in Bengali, Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress said while Governors were supposed to be appointed in consultation with the elected government of a State, today, they were being appointed like “branch managers of banks”. He said the situation in West Bengal and Maharashtra were “dangerous signs”, adding that some occupants of high offices were “making a mockery of their chairs”. Mr. O’Brien and AIADMK MP Vijila Sathyanath supported moving education to the State List.

Recommended for you