Chennai: Seeking the convening of the Inter-State Council meetings at least thrice a year, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi “strongly suggesting” that every Bill of national importance that is likely to affect one or more State be placed before the Council before it is introduced in Parliament.
“We have seen instances where many Bills affecting the rights and interest of the States, are passed in Parliament without a proper opportunity being given to the opposition to debate its merits and voice the concern of the States,” Stalin said in the letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media.
As a consequence of such action, the views, concerns and constructive suggestions of the States are not properly heard or comprehended by the Union Government during the process of decision-making for the nation as a whole, he said. “What could be settled amicably among the executive branches is often taken to the doorsteps of the judicial branch. Many times, this leads to unpleasant and vexatious litigations involving States and unions, that are easily avoidable. Therefore, if the Council meets regularly, I am sure that it would serve as a bridge between the Union and the States and would be mutually beneficial to all its members,” the DMK leader said.
He pointed out that the permanent Council was set up through a Presidential Order in 1990 which mandated that it should meet thrice a year. However, in the last six years, the meeting was conducted only once in July 2016 in New Delhi.
Expressing happiness that the Prime Minister had reconstituted the Council on May 22, he said, “Since the purpose of the Council is to strengthen, advance and support the spirit of co-operative federalism, I urge that the meetings are organised regularly.” The Council would provide a common platform for the Chief Ministers to put forth their views of the people of the State on the policies, legislations and actions of the Union Government, he felt.