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Progressive States in All Parts of Country, Not Just South: BJP on Tax Allocation Dispute

Calling the statements by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other non-BJP chief ministers of south Indian states on the tax allocation issue as ‘fear politicking’, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav accused them of trying to divide the country.

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18maryashakil

Updated:March 29, 2018, 7:55 AM IST
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Progressive States in All Parts of Country, Not Just South: BJP on Tax Allocation Dispute
File photo of BJP general secretary Ram Madhav.
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New Delhi: BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday said that too much was being made out of the tax allocation issue and the ‘divide’ between north and south India.

While saying that he understands the difficulties that would arise for progressive states if 15th Financial Commission takes 2011 Census as basis for division of funds, Madhav said that these states are not exclusive to south India.

Talking to CNN-News18, he said, “Progressive states are not just in south India. They are in other parts as well." Madhav said that he had recently met Financial Commission chairman NK Singh and was assured that the panel wouldn’t do any injustice and progressive states will get their share.

"I don’t want to take their names (of progressive states) for political reasons, but I know for sure that taking the 2011 census as basis for 15th Finance Commission will cause some difficulty to some states that have focused so much in the sphere of population regulation in the last 30 years,” he said.

He also accused Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of using the issue to play politics. “This is all politics over whatever is available to them. The 15th Finance Commission will start its work later this year, maybe next month. It will not submit work to this government but next one which will come to power in 2019,” Madhav said.

“This mean Siddaramaiah thinks that in 2019 also, there will be a BJP government, which it will be. But our larger issue is that all states should get justice,” he added.

Over that last couple of days, political parties from all the southern states have expressed alarm at the change in criterion. Siddaramaiah and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu have been very vocal on the issue. Kerala finance Minister Thomas Issac has also called a meeting between all the finance ministers of southern states to formulate a common response.

But Madhav dismissed the statements by Siddaramaiah and other non-BJP chief ministers of south Indian states as ‘fear politicking’.

“Birds of same feather, they will do this. These parties trying to create a rift between states, which is not good for us,” he said.

“This is all fear politicking...trying to divide country. Right now you’re going geographically where you are trying to create artificial divide between south & north when it doesn’t exist. As I said, progressive states are there in all parts of country...People like Siddaramaiah, for their sheer political ends, are trying to create artificial divide between north & south. It doesn’t exist,” Madhav added.

The 15th Finance Commission has been asked to submit its report by the end of October 2019. Its recommendations would be valid for five year period beginning April 1, 2020.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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