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The union government’s recent move, whereby it can summon any IAS official on central deputation without obtaining the consent of the state governments, has led to yet another point of friction between the BJP-led government at the Centre and the DMK-led government in Tamil Nadu. The Centre is bringing about changes to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Cadre Rules to enable state cadre officers to be called on deputation to the Centre without seeking the consent of the respective state government.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to drop the move, as it strikes at the very root of the country’s federal polity and state autonomy.

Pointing out that the state has had a history of natural disasters in the last few years, for which Tamil Nadu needs more IAS officers than ever before, Stalin has joined opposition-ruled states like West Bengal, Kerala and Jharkhand in seeking a withdrawal of the Centre’s move to change IAS cadre rules.

Pointing out that the state has had a history of natural disasters in the last few years, for which Tamil Nadu needs more IAS officers than ever before, Stalin has joined opposition-ruled states like West Bengal, Kerala and Jharkhand in seeking a withdrawal of the Centre’s move to change IAS cadre rules

Tamil Nadu has already been raising its voice over what it sees as the Centre’s violation of federal principles. It has in the past pointed out to the Centre’s indifference on issues like flood relief, improper devolution of GST funds to the states, the use of levy by the Centre on petroleum products to deny states their share of revenue from price hikes, the refusal of the Tamil Nadu governor to pass on to the President the State’s legislation against NEET exams, besides the thrusting of Hindi on the State through various means.

On most issues, whether it be insufficient supply of vaccines to fight Covid-19, lethargy towards the AIIMS project in Madurai or demands regarding railway projects, the Tamil Nadu government has complained of step-motherly treatment by the Centre.

The opposition AIADMK has accused the DMK government of using the Centre’s reluctance to provide timely assistance as an excuse and positioning itself as a victim—particularly when questioned about unkept poll promises.

A white paper presented by the State’s Finance minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan had highlighted the poor compensation to the State on various issues.

However, the opposition AIADMK has accused the DMK government of using the Centre’s reluctance to provide timely assistance as an excuse and positioning itself as a victim—particularly when questioned about unkept poll promises.

With elections round the corner for urban local bodies, the DMK has tried to make political capital of the Centre’s confrontationist approach towards the state, and the reluctance to concede some of its demands. In fact, the AIADMK has even been forced to support the DMK government’s stand on issues, given the confrontation over the pending demands of the State.

The DMK and its allies are angry with the Centre over the insult to the State when the Union Home Minister cancelled the appointment given to a delegation of State MPs. Subsequently, Amit Shah did meet them later but the Centre gave its game away by the snub to the State MPs who had gathered in Delhi cutting across party lines.


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