COMING TOGETHER at a mega rally organised by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) — its first since turning national after its earlier identity as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) — Opposition parties on Wednesday accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of trying to destroy the country’s federal structure.
Besides Telangana Chief Minister and BRS leader K Chandrashekar Rao, Chief Ministers Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Bhagwant Mann (Punjab), Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and CPI leader D Raja were among those present.
“Ideas such as secularism, democracy, federal structure, social justice and equality… were included in India’s Constitution so as to uphold the values championed by our freedom struggle… Since those in power now were not part of our collective (freedom) struggle then, they do not know the values on which India has been built as a sovereign, democratic republic. So they seek to alter the basic structures on which our modern nation has been built, even as they call for celebrations such as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav… Amidst the glam and glitter of these celebrations, they seek to undo the very foundations of our country, our democracy and our Constitution,” said Vijayan, accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of trying to destroy the country’s federal structure.
Saying that a people’s movement had started in Khammam, the Opposition leaders called for the ouster of the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Akhilesh also raised the issue of federalism in his speech. “Modi is using Governors to confront elected CMs of states. The BJP does not believe in federal system of governance. The BJP and RSS don’t believe in diversity,” he said. “A message from Khammam should go out, that the republic is under threat, and it should be saved by defeating the BJP,” he said.
He said Modi had said on Tuesday that 400 days remained for the government at the Centre. “When a government starts to count its days, understand that it is not going to return. Now only 399 days remain,” he said.
“Governors are being used by Modi to create trouble for CMs. How will a country progress if the country’s PM spends all day on how to trouble which CM, which state to send CBI and ED to. He only thinks which government to topple. Today, the country is demanding change. The BJP has ruined the country. It is time to change the government,” said AAP leader and Delhi CM Kejriwal.
His party colleague, Mann, spoke on similar lines, accusing the BJP of seeking to topple “every non-BJP government”. Both Kejriwal and Mann said they would implement some of the BRS government’s schemes in their states too.
Raja praised the KCR government’s welfare measures like Dalit Bandhu and Rythu Bandhu. “Republic Day will be observed but the democracy and unity of the country are under threat. They are trying to change the Constitution. Our Constitution says the Indian state should be a federal state. The BJP and RSS want to impose medieval rule,” he said.
In his speech, KCR announced a number of sops for the district. “The US and China have less agricultural land than India… We have hard-working people, the best food chain in the world. Yet, we have to import dal and palm oil. We have so much water, but still large areas don’t receive drinking or irrigation water. States are fighting over sharing river water. The Congress and BJP are the reason for the sad state of affairs in this country. If the BRS government comes to power at the Centre, all farmers will receive free power and financial support. LIC will be bought back if Modi sells it,” he said.
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