NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader L K Advani slammed the UPA government for its “authoritarian approach” towards States and argued that all those who believe in strong Centre-State relations “should come together”. In the same vein, the BJP patriarch praised Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for “highlighting the issue”.
“Making States strong does not lead to making the Centre weak. We need a strong Centre, but the Centre cannot become strong unless the States become strong,” Advani wrote in his latest blog, on Sunday.
Advani said Jayalalithaa had flagged the issue during a recent meeting of the National Development Council where “she said that she was not sure whether the government of India recognised the States as partners ‘leave alone equal partners’ and respected their viewpoint”. “The same high-handed and authoritarian approach was also seen when it sought to impose its own version of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill on States. This was stoutly opposed by the BJP, our allies in the NDA, and the AIADMK,” Advani observed in the blog post.
“The moot point is that Congress has learnt no lessons from the past. It still deludes itself by thinking that it alone has the right to govern India,” he said adding that “all those who believe in democracy and healthy Centre-State relations must come together to defeat this arrogant mindset”.
Advani also used the opportunity to make fresh overtures towards the AIADMK, terming Jayalalithaa and her party as the BJP’s “natural ally”. “I would like to reaffirm that we regard Dr Jayalalithaa as our national ally. Although AIADMK is not formally a part of the NDA, our informal cooperation with Dr Jayalalithaa’s party in both Houses of Parliament has been growing,” Advani said.