Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday accused the BJP government at the Centre of being vengeful against the states opposed to it and keen on destroying the sovereignty of state governments.
The Centre was trying to destroy the entire country through relentless activities, he said in his maiden address on the podcast series - 'Speaking for India.' "Social justice, secular politics, socialism, equity, social harmony, state autonomy, federalism, unity in diversity - an India where these facets thrive in its full glory is the real India. An unparalleled India," the DMK president said in his speech.
"The present BJP-led Union government is only functioning as a vengeful body primed against the state governments opposed to it. They only want to destroy the sovereignty of the State governments, which are directly responsible for the welfare of the people," he said.
The INDIA bloc was formed to restore an India on the facets that it thrives on and the INDIA alliance is going to save the country, he said.
"If we want to prevent the whole of India from becoming Manipur and Haryana, which, unfortunately, fell victim to BJP's communal politics, and hate-inciting policies, the INDIA alliance must win," Stalin said, referring to the initial rounds of consultations for the streamlining of the alliance held in Patna, Bangalore and Mumbai.
"Let's carve out a multi-cultural and diverse India! Let's save India. For that, let’s first speak for India!," he said and added that "this will not only be the voice of M K Stalin but the voice of INDIA. Ensure my voice becomes the voice of everyone in India. Let INDIA be the real winner!" Outlining the purpose of this podcast series, Stalin said he chose to speak as someone who is one among the people and wants to speak for India.
"We are in a time where each and everyone of us has to speak up for India," Stalin, whose DMK is the third largest party in Parliament, said.
He claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party was trying to damage the basic structure of India, and destroy the sense of unity that Indians have cherished and protected for so long.
The BJP, which came to power in 2014, failed to fulfill its pre-election promises, especially with regards to the people welfare schemes such as recovering black money deposited in foreign countries, depositing Rs 15 lakh to every Indian, guaranteed employment to 2 crore people every single year, doubling farmers’ income, ensuring house for every Indian and making the country a USD 5 trillion economy.
"There were many other yarns that were spun that just remained tall tales. It is soon going to be ten years of the BJP governance, and none of those promises have been fulfilled," the DMK leader said and claimed that the Narendra Modi model, which came to power lying about the Gujarat Model, is now going to end with no significant model to call their own.
"It has become a rudderless model, and there are no tall claims about the once-famous Gujarat model either, especially after we listed the achievements of the Dravidian Model in Tamil Nadu with statistical proof," he said.
It was disheartening to see how India’s strong public sector was being dismantled and destroyed by the Union government. It was clear that they were misusing their power to transfer the public sector to their corporate friends. "The welfare of the entire country has been reduced to the welfare of a few," he said in the speech and alleged that airports and ports all over India were going into the hands of private organisations.
The BJP government at the Centre was handling religion as their weapon to hide all their shortcomings and were inciting the fire of religious sentiments of people and basking in the warmth of its fiery flames, the Chief Minister alleged.
"In 2002, BJP sowed the seeds of violence and hatred in the state of Gujarat. In 2023, the sectarian fire ignited in the northeastern state of Manipur saw the State burn. In Haryana, the fire of religious fanaticism is claiming lives and property of innocent people. If we don't put an end to this right now, no one can save India and Indians," Stalin said.
Whenever India's diversity, federalism, and democracy was under threat, DMK has always been the vanguard, standing at the frontline. He quoted former Chief Minister C N Annadurai as saying that the DMK should be taken to spearhead the opposition to the unitary nature, a view echoed by late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who proclaimed that the DMK must operate as a party from Tamil Nadu that will always speak for India. Another duty of historical importance now was more than deciding who should come to power, the 2024 election is about who should not come to power, Stalin said. During the 9-year BJP rule, there have been many harmful scams that have destroyed the states and GST has taken away the financial rights of the States. Tamil Nadu lost its right to financial autonomy.
Despite repeated requests by the states to extend the GST compensation for another 2 years, the Union government paid no heed to it. Tamil Nadu gives huge amounts of funds annually to the Union Government through taxes. At the same time, for every rupee paid as tax revenue to the Union Government, only 29 paise was returned to the State.
From 2014 till last year, the tax paid by TN to the Union Government was Rs 5.16 lakh crore. "But, in return, all we got was Rs 2.8 lakh crore," the Chief Minister said.
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