K’taka BJP minister calls Centre ‘dictatorial’, gets quoted by Opposition

Taking a dig at policies of the Modi government, Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister JC Madhuswamy accused it of triggering a regional divide in the country and infringing upon the powers of the states

Madhuswamy who made the statement at an event in Mysuru, asked Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya to question certain policy decisions of the central government. Photo: Twitter

In an embarrassment for the BJP, Karnataka Minor Irrigation Minister JC Madhuswamy took a jibe at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, stating that its “authoritarian rule” is the reason behind the rising regionalism in the country.

Madhuswamy also said that the Centre’s dictatorial approach has hurt the unity (between states).

Speaking at an event on ‘national integration and regional freedom’ in Mysuru on Saturday, the minister, asked Bengaluru South Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya to question certain policy decisions of the central government.

Citing the example of NEET, Madhuswamy said the students from Karnataka were losing out to those from other states due to the Centre’s policy.

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“You’ve encroached upon the state subject and concurrent list (center-state powers as mentioned in the Constitution). Instead of liberalising as we grow, you are centralising,” Madhuswamy said.

“We were wonderful in education.  But we are at loss (now)…What is the connection between NEET and our state? You should question Surya, you are a parliament member,” he told Tejasvi Surya.

Madhuswamy continued to state that he and other leaders used to criticise Indira Gandhi who used to speak against similar policies during her times.

With the minister’s statement landing in the thick of the election season, the sentiment was quickly picked up by opposition parties to criticise the Centre.

While DMK MP Kanimozhi tweeted Madhuswamy’s comments, former IAS officer Sasikant Senthil appreciated the minister for speaking his mind and wished others would come forward to talk about it.

Surya is said to have retorted to the minister by comparing his statement to the regional disparity within the state (say between North Karnataka and Old-Mysuru region) and justified the resource diversion and policies aimed at uplifting poor states.

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