New Delhi: Dissatisfied with the Centre`s "step-motherly treatment" towards Opposition-ruled states, BJP has convened a meeting of its Chief Ministers here to work out a strategy to deal with the "discrimination" on matters like central fund allocations and clearance of projects.
The day-long conclave will be held here on August 18 and will be attended by Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and the senior most BJP minister in the Punjab government.
"The Congress-led UPA government has made a mockery of the federal structure and is meting out step-motherly treatment to non-Congress governments.
Discrimination is rampant in the allocation of funds or natural resources. Legislations passed by the state legislatures are kept pending at the Central level at will," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters.
Sinha, a former Finance Minister, is the Convenor of the programme which will be inaugurated by party president Nitin Gadkari.
While LK Advani will give the valedictory address, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will speak on good governance and best practices. Her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley will speak on the country`s federal structure.
The Centre`s two proposals Direct Tax Code (DTC) and Goods and Services Tax (GST), whose fate are yet to be decided as BJP and its NDA partners are opposing them, may not figure in the meeting, Sinha said.
Asked if the party will discuss on the issue of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, he said, "This is an entirely irrelevant debate."
Sinha remarked that he could say with "all conviction at his command" that there are "20 other things" by which India could get foreign investment and improve the economy.
Sinha said the meeting of Chief Ministers will discuss
the impact of the economic slowdown and the drought in some states.
The meeting will also discuss about the adoption of the best practices of governance developed by other BJP-ruled states like Ladli Laxmi plan of Madhya Pradesh, he said.
"In independent India`s history, Centre-state relations have never been worse (as it is now)," Sinha said.
He maintained that the conclave is aimed at reviewing the functioning of the economy in the light of the severe economic crisis that has gripped the country.
Other issues to be discussed include taxes, investment scenario and price rise. The BJP leader said the Centre appears to be blocking the development path of BJP-ruled states.
"How these issues have impacted the BJP-ruled states, how they are dealing with it and what more should be done will be discussed," Sinha said.
Asked about the Prime Minister`s assurance last week that the economy is strong, he said, "The more the Prime Minister speaks the more depressing the picture becomes."
The former Union minister said the job of building a consensus lies with the Prime Minister himself.
"We are in agreement with the government that economic security should be taken as seriously as national security. But no such consensus has emerged on the economy," he said.
Sinha maintained that the Chief Ministers are not being called to evaluate their work and give them "character rolls".
BJP maintains that the country is passing through an economic crisis of grave proportions and the mood is one of "gloom and doom", he said.