HYDERABAD: Taking strong objection to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s emphasis on making Hindi the national link language, Telangana Congress Election Coordination Committee chairman M Shashidhar Reddy has alleged that Shah’s push for Hindi was aimed at higher devolution of taxes under the 15th Finance Commission to the Northern States and to secure higher number of Lok Sabha seats for them in the next reallocation of seats.
In an open letter to the Home Minister on Wednesday, Sashidhar Reddy stated that the 15th Finance Commission, responsible for allocation of respective share of tax collected among the states, was doing devolution of taxes on the basis of the 2011 population figures instead of using the 1971 figures, due to which the Southern states’ share in India’s population declined by four percentage.
Consequently, there has been a corresponding increase in the percentage of the population of the economically backward BIMARU states of the North, namely Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and would qualify for significantly higher devolution of taxes, even as their contribution is significantly low, he said. Similarly, if reallocation of Lok Sabha seats was done on the basis of the present (2011) population, five southern states - Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana-- will stand to lose a minimum of 33 out of the existing total number of 129 Lok Sabha seats, he observed.
“With the present trend of population growth, the South will only lose more LS seats on the basis of 2031 population, which will go to the Hindi-belt’s Northern states. Even if the number of Lok Sabha0 seats were to be increased, the incremental gain will only go to the Northern states. In this manner, South will stand to lose political representation in addition to a lower share of tax devolution by the Centre,” he pointed out.