After Karnataka, Kerala and the AAP governments of Delhi and Punjab also hit the streets at Jantar Mantar on Thursday to jointly protest for ‘protecting federalism’ as they charged that the Modi government was neglecting and impinging on the domain of Opposition-ruled States.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who led the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF’s), protest said the democracy was being “crippled” by the Centre’s undemocratic “Union over States” mentality. According to him, this approach of the Union’s supremacy over the States is not only reflected in financial matters, but was evident in the functioning of Governors in Opposition-ruled States too.

‘Telling example’

Citing another “telling example”, the Kerala CM also stated that the Centre was making laws that impinge on States’ powers and duties in different sectors like law and order, that is “absolutely in the States’ list in the Constitution”.

Present during the protest were Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, LDF MPs and MLAs, and senior Left Front leaders such as CPI General Secretary D Raja and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Chief Farooq Abdullah, Tamil Nadu’s Minister of Information Technology and Digital Services Palanivel Thiagarajan also lend their support to the protest which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi described on Wednesday as an attempt to create a North-South divide within the country.

In his address, Delhi CM Kejriwal accused the Centre of waging a war against Opposition-ruled States like his. “The governments led by Opposition parties represent 70 crore people in the country. The BJP has waged a war against the Opposition-ruled states. They have created a India-Pakistan situation with us. The Centre is using all the tactics to harass the Opposition governments,” alleged Kejriwal.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, on his turn, countered Modi by stating that the presence of CMs of Delhi and Punjab in the protest anchored by the Kerala government leaders showed no North-South division existed as was being alleged.