Stressing the need to protect the federal structure and the Constitution, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, without naming anyone, said on Wednesday that all powers were being concentrated in one hand in the country.
Uddhav, who was speaking at the Opposition chief ministers’ video conference, also said that there is a need to think whether there could be a middle path between the previous tax structure and the existing Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
“Rajiv ji (Gandhi) brought the Panchayat Raj, which means decentralisation of power to the smaller institutions. What is happening today? All the powers are getting concentrated in one hand. Then what is the meaning of the state government? Will the state governments no longer be required in the future and one man can rule the country and we will have to just keep nodding? We won’t allow it to happen,” he said in the meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar has drafted the Constitution keeping in the mind the federal structure of our country. If we do not respect whatever rights are given to everyone in that Constitution, then where is our democracy? If we talk about democracy, then our Constitution and federal structure are at the top of it and we have to protect it,” said Uddhav. “It is our duty to run the government but it is also our job to protect the Constitution,” he added.
The CM also mentioned that while Maharashtra’s GST dues are increasing with every passing month, the Centre is yet to pay the state.
“About GST, I think… whether there is a need to reconsider it. Something can be done about it. If we bring some changes, it can be good or bad. If there is a mistake, we have to correct it and move forward. But we need to think whether there could be a middle path between the previous tax regime and the existing structure,” he said, adding that the state hasn’t received GST compensation since April.
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