CHENNAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his government is committed to cooperative federalism. His comment came at an event in Chennai, and appeared to be an attempt to douse the rising flames of discontent in the South over the way the Centre shares money with state governments. Modi’s visit to Chennai has been met with black flag protests, a huge black protest baloon, and with #ModiGoBack trending on social media.
PM Modi dismissed the concerns being raised by southern political leaders that his government’s decisions would punish the southern states for successfully controlling their population growths. “A baseless allegation is being made about the Terms of Reference of the 15th Finance Commission, being biased against certain states or a particular region,” he said.
“The Union Government has suggested to the Finance Commission to consider incentivizing States who have worked on population control. Thus, a state like Tamil Nadu, which has devoted a lot of effort, energy and resources towards population control would certainly benefit,” he added, without offering details on how the southern states would be incentivised to make up for their loss of revenue because of the move.