Pinarayi, Stalin call for ‘truly federal India’

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The event was a seminar on Centre-State relations and the key speakers were Vijayan, Stalin and Thomas, reports Asian Lite News

For the CPI-M, its Party Congress is its ultimate event and on Saturday evening, its ongoing 23rd edition in Kerala hit a peak with the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and more so with that of “estranged” Congress leader and former Union Minister K.V.Thomas, seated to the right of none other than Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Chief Minister Stalin has called for a collective of states “to fight, to resist” the central government and “create a truly federal India”, media reported.

The event was a seminar on Centre-State relations and the key speakers were Vijayan, Stalin and Thomas.

Thomas, whose attendance could see him being booted out of the Congress as the top leadership and the state unit of the party had warned him against going, received a tumultuous welcome. The CPI-M saw his presence as a moral victory over the Congress, their principal opposition in the state, as Thomas arrived at the hometown of state Congress President K. Sudhakaran, who, on Friday only, remarked that he prays that Thomas won’t turn up.

Stalin, who had landed at the Kannur airport in the afternoon, was received by the top leadership of the CPI-M and when he arrived at the venue, it was to big applause and so was the case each time his name was called out.

Vijayan, in his inaugural address, said in today’s context. the topic of the seminar, Centre -State relations is very important and so is the presence of Stalin.

“But above that is the presence of K.V.Thomas. We invited him as a Congress leader and even now he is one. There were talks that his nose would be cut out if he attends. He is present here as a Congress leader. What will happen tomorrow is a different matter and I am sure nothing is going to happen. All I will say is ‘let us not speculate’,” he said.

Vijayan also took the opportunity to take a dig at the 18 Congress-led UDF MPs from Kerala, saying that “they are doing nothing in the Lok Sabha to put pressure on the Centre to fight for the genuine needs of our state”.

Stalin heaped praised on Vijayan and said he is a person with a difference when compared to other Chief Ministers and it was his responsibility to attend the seminar and decided to attend the moment Vijayan invited him.

KV Thomas, whose attendance could see him being booted out of the Congress as the top leadership and the state unit of the party had warned him against going, received a tumultuous welcome.

“It was a Communist government which was the first in the country to be ousted, while two times in Tamil Nadu, the DMK government was ousted,” he said.

Stalin has called for the formation of a collective of states “to face and overcome these active efforts of disruption”, onmanorama reported.

“We must form a collective of the chief ministers of South India, and then form a collective of chief ministers of all the states of India, separately.

“The Constitution of India needs to be amended to bestow more rights to the states. To make this happen, we must come together, united, looking beyond the boundaries of politics,” Stalin was quoted as saying.

The Tamil Nadu leader said that victory was possible only if “like-minded political parties came together”.

“That will ensure the sustenance of this country, the ideals of social justice, equality, and secularism.

“I hereby request every party to initiate action to ensure such a victory. Let us fight for state autonomy. Let us create a truly federal India. Red salute, comrades,” the news report quoted Stalin as saying.

When Thomas’s name was called out to speak, it was greeted with a huge cheer.

“I stand here with a lot of pride and with great happiness. When I see this huge audience, I feel I have made the right decision to come and I wish my colleagues in the Congress party also will understand. I am for development and there should be no opposition to it,” he said.

It remains to be seen how the Congress reacts.

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