How is RSS/BJP Undermining Federalism in India


Indian political system is designed to be a federal system in the normal times and it can become a union with unprecedented power to the union government in the emergency situation.

There are three lists which divide the areas of policy: union list, state list, and concurrent list. The residual powers are with the union government.

Recently, Arun Jaitley claimed that the RSS/BJP is committed to “Cooperative federalism”, but this claim of commitment is shallow as proved by the recent intervention of the RSS/BJP Government in the state of Karnataka.

This is the political story. In India, there are Rajya Sabha elections. The MPs and MLAs from the electorate that elects the members of the Rajya Sabha (also called the Upper House of the Parliament).

The BJP/RSS is poaching on Congress MLAs from the Gujarat and 6 of them defected leaving 44 behind in the Congress. The Congress party sent 44 MLAs to Bangalore, Karnataka, the state where the Congress is ruling.

The 44 MLAs are kept in the resort to avoid their contacts with the BJP politicians and the Congress party is claiming that an MLA was offered 15 crores to defect. The elections are due soon and the MLAs will be asked to stay in the custody until the election date.

There is also another issue where the opposition party has locked its horns with: the issue of NOTA (None of the above) in the Rajya Sabha. But, this is not the place to talk about its pluses and minus here.

Read -  [Transcript] Dr. Ambedkar Speaks on M.K. Gandhi and Poona Pact (BBC Radio) - 1955

Coming back to the issue of the Congress MLAs, they have been looked after by the Energy Minister of Karnataka, Mr. D K Ravikumar. The MLAs are confined in his place.

But yesterday, the team of Income Tax Department raided Ravikumar’s place in what can be considered as the hostile act of the RSS/BJP Government.

The principle of federalism was violated and attacked. The Union Government did not inform the State Police of Karnataka when the raids were conducted and the Union Government used Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) to raid the premises and property of Mr. Ravikumar.

The tainted ministers must be put behind the bars, but the timing and the way it is done is not proper. It is the case of political vendetta, but more than that it seriously undermines the federal system that the constitution built into Indian political system.

Because the RSS/BJP is in the power in the Union does not give it the power to tweak the basic values of the Constitution. The RSS/BJP uses coercive methods to gain political advantage. This is anti-democratic.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist

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