Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that having remained chief minister of Gujarat he understood the “problems and pain” suffered by the states due to “big brother attitude” of non-friendly government at the Centre, and said his government’s mantra would be “cooperative federalism”.
“I know the problems faced by states if there is not a friendly government in the Centre. On petty issues, growth of states are stopped for narrow political gains. We are talking about cooperative federalism. The Centre should not work with a big brother attitude. We should work together,” he said.
Modi said his government would work along with states and address their problems. “The strength of our country is federal structure. We need to introspect whether we have strengthened the federal structure sitting in Delhi. If the country has to move forward, the states should move forward…If the country has to prosper, the state should prosper,” the PM said in his maiden address in the Rajya Sabha, while replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address.
Modi said that he would be happy to see the states competing with each other to be better in terms of development. He also said that Tamil Nadu government had written 40 letters to the Centre, but not a single letter was acknowledged, adding, “We need to change this attitude.”
Responding to questions raised by some members as to how the government planned to implement its ambitious agenda, the PM said that he was not surprised over the apprehensions considering the “atmosphere of despair” that prevailed for the past several years. “This shadow is still there and hence, there are apprehensions. I am confident that we will change this,” Modi said.
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He said that each state requires different solutions to its problems, adding that the Centre should do away with the “tailor-made solution mentality” and suggested that different plans should be formulated for Himalayan states and coastal states.