Non-UPA ruled states criticise Centre for policies

New Delhi: Non-UPA ruled states on Saturday criticised the Centre for its policies towards them with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi launching scathing attacks by accusing it of weakening the federal structure.

"I am not sure that the government of India recognises the states as partners, leave alone equal partners, and respects their viewpoints," Jayalalithaa said in her speech that was circulated at the National Development Council meeting here.

"There are attempts by the Centre to weaken the states with too much interference thereby reducing them to the status of glorified municipal corporations," she said.

Modi was equally acerbic as he accused the Centre of "tinkering" with the federal structure and advised the ruling UPA to follow the "federal dharma".

"... I wish to draw the attention of this august body to attempts being made increasingly by the Central government to tinker with the federal structure mandated by the Constitution," he said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati stressed on the need to "rise above party politics" to ensure speedier development of the backward regions.

She said as the objectives of inclusive growth could not be fully met during the 11th Five Year Plan, there was a need to initiate concrete measures during the 12th Plan to ensure speedier development of backward regions and to bring the "downtrodden" into the mainstream of growth.

"To achieve such balanced and higher level of development, it will be necessary to rise above party politics and so distribute the resources as to uplift the lagging regions and neglected sections of our society," she said.