“Communal agenda, centralised state structure converged under BJP”

Thiruvananthapuram: CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury today accused the BJP government of pursuing a communal agenda and a centralised state structure to push the new economic reforms, and said there was a need to fight the “twin challenges”.

“Communal agenda and centralised state structure to push the new economic reforms under the aegis of International Financial Capital have converged under the new government,” he said while inaugurating the fourth International Conference on Kerala Studies, organised by AKG Centre for Research and Studies here.

Coming down heavily on the NDA government’s decision to scrap the Planning Commission, he said the need now was to fight the “twin challenges” of communal agenda and unitary financial system of the Centre.

States’ rights have been curtailed under the government by replacing the Planning Commission with Niti Aayog, he said, adding it was not clear how central funds would be transferred to states under the new dispensation.

There was a decline in the quantum of funds transferred to states from the Centre over the years, he said.

“It is not merely replacing with a name, but replacement of the entire involvement of democratically elected states in formulating the economic planing of the country,” Yechury said.

On Left parties’ Opposition to GST, Yechury said the only right of states’ to mobilise resources under sales tax has been removed in GST. “This is a serious matter”, he said.

Under the new economic policy, states would be ‘at the mercy’ of the Union government for funds, often on political consideration, he said.

He also alleged that the policy was brought in to enable international corporates and domestic corporates make maximum profits.

Yechury criticised the Centre for not calling an all-party meet to discuss the GST issue. “Why are they not talking to the Opposition?”, he asked.

On talks the government had with Congress on GST, Yechury said “we have always maintained that there is not much difference in the economic policies of BJP and Congress”.

Nearly 2,000 delegates from Kerala and other states are participating at the two-day Study Congress.